Preparing for delays on Island Park

Starting on April 15, 2014, and lasting about three months, Island Park residents can expect changes on their street as Hydro Ottawa installs new underground cable and chambers.

The hydro company hosted an information session on January 30 at the Churchill Seniors’ Recreation Centre to present their plans to residents and receive feedback and comments from the community.

“They need to upgrade the amount of power in the area,” said Kitchissippi Ward Councillor Katherine Hobbs, who attended the meeting.

As part of the plans, Hydro Ottawa would work on the section of Island Park from just after Highway 417 to Richmond Road. The work will include excavation for installing underground cables, which will be encased in concrete and five underground chambers that will provide connection points along Island Park Drive.

Hydro Ottawa said there will be lane reductions along the strip of Island Park Drive only in off-peak hours, which is 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and after 6:00 p.m. During this off-peak time, sections of the southbound lane will be closed and both lanes of traffic will use the north bound lane with construction crews directing traffic.

During on-peak hours, which are 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Hydro Ottawa said there will be no lane reductions.

Alexander Davidson, an Island Park Drive resident, attended the meeting and said his street is busy most hours of the day. He added that he feels traffic will still be impacted.

“I’m concerned about not getting in and out of my driveway,” he said. “Usually I can’t back in and out. Typically throughout the day, there are backlogs. If it’s going to be one lane only, I’m anticipating there will be more.”

With added construction trucks parked, Davidson said this could contribute to more traffic as well.

“I don’t know where they’re parking the trucks,” he said. “The trucks will grind up everything.”

Davidson also said he heard his neighbour suggest the idea that the work be done on a rear laneway, where sewer work has to be done anyway.

“It would make sense,” he said.

While Davidson had concerns, other neighbours were happy to see the work being done.

Resident Keith Woolhouse said it was great to see Hydro Ottawa working with the community.

“It’s very co-operative, and I think it’s forward-looking,” Woolhouse said. “I think they’re being very forthcoming, so I think it’s terrific.”

He added that his only question was the National Capital Commission’s (NCC) whereabouts at the meeting.

“Where was the NCC representation tonight?” he said. “This is their land.”

Hydro Ottawa said no power interruptions are anticipated for the area, and that residents will be notified at least two weeks in advance if their property will be impacted.

Before work begins, Hydro Ottawa said it will work with the traffic inspector from the City of Ottawa to make a decision about bike lanes. However, there is a possibility that cyclists will have to share the road with motorists along small stretches of construction and be directed through signage.

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