McKenna says new active transportation crossing will boost commuter cycling and recreation choices
OTTAWA, September 19, 2019 – Catherine McKenna, Liberal candidate in Ottawa Centre, today committed to partner with the City of Ottawa and the Province of Ontario to make the derelict Prince of Wales Bridge safe and accessible for pedestrians and cyclists, providing people with a new option to cross between Ottawa and Gatineau. She was joined by William Amos, Liberal candidate for Pontiac and Greg Fergus, Liberal candidate for Hull-Aylmer.
The Prince of Wales Bridge is an abandoned railway bridge which is owned by the City of Ottawa. It crosses the Ottawa River through Lemieux Island into Gatineau.
“We have seen with the Flora Footbridge just how new active transportation infrastructure knits communities together and improves quality of life for residents of Ottawa Centre. Rebuilding the Prince of Wales Bridge will have the same positive impact, and I’m confident, working in partnership with the City of Ottawa, and the province, that this can be achieved,” McKenna said.
Bringing the Prince of Wales Bridge back into service is an important piece of any strategy for transportation infrastructure in the National Capital Region. The bridge may play a role in a longer term interprovincial transit strategy, but there is a need now for another safe and secure cross-river link to serve pedestrians and cyclists.
“Thousands of pedestrians and cyclists use our existing bridges between Gatineau and Ottawa every day, in all seasons, and the numbers are increasing. Many people, despite the barriers and fences, are still using the Prince of Wales Bridge. This is a strong indication of the desire and need to make the bridge safe and accessible,” said Greg Fergus, Liberal candidate for the riding of Hull-Aylmer, who joined McKenna for today’s announcement.
McKenna committed to advocating for existing federal infrastructure dollars in a partnership with the city and province to pay for the reconstruction of the bridge. The city is currently spending thousands of dollars on fencing to keep pedestrians from using the unsafe structure.
“I am hearing about this issue at the doors in Kitchissippi Ward. The bridge is in very poor condition and not safe to be on. I want to help ensure it is rehabilitated so that it can be an important transportation asset for the city. It will link communities on both sides of the river in Ottawa and Gatineau for work, school and play,” McKenna said.
“I am in full support of this initiative. It would provide a new gateway to Gatineau Park for cyclists, and make it easier for residents in Plateau and Aylmer to commute to Ottawa by bike. Investing in active transportation infrastructure is key to protecting the environment and building cleaner, healthier communities,” said William Amos, Liberal candidate for the riding of Pontiac.
In 2015, McKenna committed to seeing the Flora Footbridge built. Use on the newly open crossing was expected to be 2,500 per day but has been coming in at an average of 3,150 crossings per day.
“I have shown that I can deliver on infrastructure promises, like the Flora Footbridge. A new active transportation crossing for Prince of Wales Bridge is something I believe in and want to see for Ottawa Centre, in the next four years. This commitment speaks to my campaign’s themes: making Ottawa the world’s greenest capital, one that is prosperous and inclusive,” McKenna said.
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