By Johanne Adam
We all know that summer is a good time for construction work, and this year, the University of Ottawa will be particularly “spoiled” as far as construction goes.
Plenty of work will be done both on campus and on roadways near the University, which may lead to some traffic disruptions.
Here’s an overview of work planned by the University and the City of Ottawa.
Development of new campus square
The parking lot facing the University Centre and the Social Sciences Building will be replaced by an all-purpose campus meeting place currently being referred to as the “Place de l’Université.”
Work will begin June 8, as soon as the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is over. The first construction phase will continue into December. The second phase will begin in summer 2016.
During the work, pedestrians and cyclists are asked to respect road signage. Vehicles will be allowed in the area until 2016-2017, after which time access will be prohibited.
As with any construction site, the work will cause noise, dust and vibrations in the area.
University Centre renovations
A new 24/7 dining room will be built in the University Centre over the summer months. Major renovations are required to prepare this new space in time for the start of classes this September.
With the demolition of the University Centre food court underway since early April, other dining alternatives are being offered.
A temporary dining facility is available in the University Centre Terminus, on the second floor. Other campus food outlets will be offering extended hours.
The work will also add a new student lounge to the University Centre.
Lamoureux Hall expansion
Lamoureux Hall will undergo a significant expansion. Work will start over the summer to build the new Centre d'apprentissage - Learning Centre. Hybrid classrooms, study spaces and a 350-seat food service outlet will also be added.
Work begins June 8. The Louis Pasteur footpath will be accessible but shortened during the work. Protection Services officers will be on site to guide passers-by. Road signs will also be installed.
Montpetit Gym renovations
Routine work will be done on the Montpetit Gym during the first week of May. The floor will be refinished and lighting must be replaced.
The swimming pool will not be accessible throughout May. The side light bulbs have been removed and the sockets need to be filled. As well, to save energy, all the light bulbs above the pool will be replaced by new energy-efficient bulbs.
Colonel By Hall roof repairs
The building’s roof will be redone this summer. Work dates to be announced.
Confederation Line work
The next three years will be crucial for the Ottawa Light Rail Transit (LRT) project. Considerable construction work is planned for this summer, which will cause many street closures, and an equal number of detours.
The Confederation Line corridor is divided into three segments, east, central and west. It’s the work on the central segment that could cause the greatest disturbance for the University community.
This segment includes Lyon, Parliament, Rideau and uOttawa stations. It also includes a 2.5 km tunnel under downtown, the east and west portals and the central shaft, which will be dug at the corner of Albert and Kent and be a third point of entry into the tunnel.
Station construction will begin in 2016. Preparatory work has already begun and will continue for several months, which could cause some disruptions in the area. It is difficult, however, to accurately gauge the impact on traffic, because the city’s plans have not yet been finalized.
The biggest impact will occur in 2016-2017, when construction of all the stations near the campus will be underway.
LRT rails will be installed on a section of the Transitway shortly so that tests can be carried out on the trains. OC Transpo buses will have to be rerouted while this is taking place. Work to widen the Queensway is underway and will be completed this summer. OC Transpo buses travelling between Blair and Hurdman stations may be rerouted along the additional lanes during the LRT work.
Around 120 buses an hour will run on the widened roadway at rush hour, which will cause some disruptions over the summer.
The City of Ottawa is also planning work that could affect the University community. Main Street will be completely renovated, with work spread out over the next two years. All lanes, except for one southbound lane, will be closed. It will therefore be impossible to take Main to return to the main campus from Saint Paul University or Roger Guindon Hall.
The University shuttle route will be altered during work. OC Transpo buses will also take an alternative northbound route.
Members of the public can get information about construction and traffic by visiting the City of Ottawa website, calling 311 or checking out the City of Ottawa traffic Twitter feed, @Ottawa_Traffic.
For up to date information on traffic, visit traffic.ottawa.ca. Or sign up to receive Confederation Line updates.