Head’s up: watch for some street reconstruction plans for Sandy Hill

John Verbaas

The City of Ottawa is in the early stages of planning for major sewer and water infrastructure renewal on Mann Avenue, Range Road, Templeton Street, and a short section of Russell Avenue, most likely coming in two stages, with the major works scheduled for summer 2019 followed by a final layer of asphalt and landscaping in summer 2020. This will be a major undertaking and will be fairly disruptive for residents on these streets as well as to traffic patterns through the area. During construction the streets will remain open for local traffic and residents will be able to access their driveways.

To be more precise about the boundaries of the project, they are Mann Avenue (from Chapel to Range), Range Road (from Mann to Somerset), Templeton Street (from Chapel to Range) and Russell Avenue (from Somerset to Osgoode). At the completion of the project, the roads will be repaved and there will be opportunities to introduce new traffic calming measures.

As part of the process, the City is also required to rebuild the sidewalks to the current provincially legislated accessibility requirements. This means widening the sidewalks to 1.8 m. In some cases this has potential impacts on residents’ landscaping and on large trees. I was assured that they will pinch the sidewalks where there are large trees in order to preserve them and that the City will work individually with each resident to work out any details as it may impact them. This is a process that the City undertakes several times per year in different neighbourhoods and so they are experienced in the many different types of situations that will be encountered.

The next step in the process is that the City will hire an engineering consulting firm that will look in detail at each of these blocks and come up with a proposed design of how the streets will be reinstated. This proposed design will be presented at a public meeting where residents will have an opportunity to provide feedback that will be used to further refine the initial design. This should occur sometime during the first half of 2018.

Some examples of changes that might be possible when the streets are reinstated could include narrowings that pinch the street width mid-blocks, raised intersections, or speed tables (a shallower form of speed hump), potentially slight adjustments to street widths, etc. Stay tuned for more information and community involvement to come.