The deconstruction of the Alexandra Bridge is set to begin in 2028 and its replacement to open in 2032, according to a plan revealed by the National Capital Commission and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) on Tuesday.

The plan was presented to the Built Heritage Committee.

It also drew attention the state of the existing bridge by drawing the attention several unrepairable sections of the structure, raising concerns about the potential impact on public safety.

The $800-million project is at the design stage, with final approval by spring 2025.

The Alexandra Bridge opened in 1901 and is one of five interprovincial crossings between Ottawa and Gatineau. It carries nearly 10 per cent of vehicular traffic between the two cities.

The PSPC- NCC team says the project has engaged with 19 Indigenous communities from three different nations up to date.

Ottawa residents and members of the Alexandra Bridge Coalition spoke against the replacement project, advocating for the restoration of the bridge because of its historical significance and cultural meaning. The coalition has led the fight against the demolition of the original crossing,

The PSPC- NCC team says assessments and studies since 2012 have indicated that repairing and retaining the existing bridge is not feasible.

The six principles the NCC will follow in its design for the crossing are:

  • mobility and continuity of the urban fabric;
  • public space and civic experiences;
  • structure, height, proportions and lighting;
  • preservation of views and celebration of the bridge’s legacy;
  • sustainability and materiality;
  • and universal accessibility, legibility, and wayfinding.