Highway 417 will be closed in both directions between the Carling and Metcalfe exits Friday evening until early Tuesday morning to allow for another overpass to be replaced.
Drivers who need to drive through central Ottawa will have to find a detour, and people moving around the area will have to contend with the extra vehicles.
This only happened in August, so there is some recent history to draw on. Here’s what you can expect.
417, which is also part of the Trans-Canada Highway, will be closed in both directions between the exit to Carling and Kirkwood Avenues (near Hampton Park) and Metcalfe and Catherine Streets (near Ottawa Police Headquarters).
These exits are the last chance for motorists to leave the highway and the first to get back on once they have passed it.
Lane and ramp closures begin Friday at 7 p.m. The full closure will begin at 8pm and is expected to end at 6am on Tuesday 4th October. The end time is subject to change.
Rochester Street is closed at 417 through October 11th.
The northbound Booth Street closes under the highway at 5:00 p.m. Friday, as does the southbound Booth between Gladstone Avenue and Raymond Street. Both reopen when the Autobahn does so.
why do we need this
The Rochester Street freeway bridge will be replaced. During the 82-hour closure, the old bridge will be dismantled and a new bridge put in its place.
The trial will be broadcast live again.
The next bridges on the plan are Bronson Avenue and Percy Street in the summer of 2023 and Preston Street in 2024.
What will happen this weekend?
Official diversions lean toward Carling and, depending on which direction drivers are heading, Bronson Avenue or Booth, Catherine, or Chamberlain Street.
In August, these roads were congested and the freeways secured an exit or two from the closure as lane closures directed drivers to the exits.
The ripple effect resulted in busy Baseline, Heron, Hog’s Back, and Hunt Club roads as drivers sought other ways to travel east and west through Ottawa.
On August 12, the only day of the week of the previous lockdown, traveling via Baseline, Heron, and Riverside Drive was a slightly better option than the official detour.
By and large, the streets were busier than normal during the day from the Ottawa River to Hunt Club Road and Woodroffe Avenue to Riverside. Most of the August 12 problems were getting through central Ottawa or from the west to and from the core.
Some people drove to Gatineau and back to get east to west, others crossed Ottawa south on the Mitch Owens Road.
Remember to obey the speed limits when driving on a residential street.
What can I do?
This is not a driving ban in the affected area and it’s unfortunate to cancel plans there when smaller businesses are able to take advantage of support during the pandemic, but driving there will take you more time for most of the day.
Plan ahead: Allow for extra time, consider rescheduling plans sooner or later, and have a few options in case your chosen route is too slow.
CBC Ottawa has its usual commuter updates on CBC Radio One and Twitter on Monday.
Using transit or parking and walking or rolling are other strategies. The weekend forecast is a mix of sun and clouds with daily highs in the mid-teens.
Buses can get into congested streets.
The closest OC Transpo Park & Ride locations to downtown (which do not require a permit) are in Greenboro, Joan of Arc, Baseline (where a permit is required on weekday mornings), and Eagleson.
what else happens
Taking Nicholas Street to get onto the highway may not be a good idea as construction crews are still reconfiguring the intersection with Laurier Avenue.
Riders looking for detours should remember that Weekend Bikedays closes the westbound Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway to vehicles Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 4pm.
Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway is closed to vehicles between Aviation Parkway and St. Joseph Boulevard at the same times in both directions.
People who don’t often bike in downtown Ottawa should know that part of the multi-use trail behind Parliament Hill is closed.
The annual panda game takes place on Saturday and should see busier traffic at the Sandy Hill arena this morning and at Lansdowne Park in the afternoon.