City plans upgrades on McLeod and Florence
By Ryan Curley
The City of Ottawa is planning a major construction project to update aging infrastructure along portions of Florence and McLeod Streets in Centretown, beginning in the spring of 2020.
A Feb. 28 open house was held in the McNabb Community Centre to show residents what the proposed upgrades will involve. Residents have until March 21 to submit their concerns to the city’s project manager.
The portion of Florence Street between Kent and Bank will see concrete sidewalks and curbs installed, the combined sewer replaced and the road surface repaved.
In the section of McLeod Street between Bronson and Lyon, the city plans to replace the existing combined sewer and watermain, move fire hydrants to the south side of the street, reconstruct the road and install sidewalks and curbs.
Construction is expected to be finished in the fall of 2021.
Caitlyn Pascal, who has lived on McLeod for eight years, said residents have been complaining for a long time about the state of the road and sidewalks. She said she’s happy with the proposal to build new concrete sidewalks.
Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney agreed that the roadway needs to be redone along McLeod.
“The surface, as well as the infrastructure, is a mess, sidewalks are a mess, roadways are a mess, lots of cracks and dips in both the road and the sidewalk,” said McKenney.
Additionally, McLeod Street from Percy to Bronson will be converted to two-way traffic after construction, but drivers will be prohibited from turning onto McLeod from Bronson.
McKenney said she has worked closely with residents of McLeod Street in the past to address safety issues.
Currently, a large metal chain is draped across the entrance to McLeod, blocking access to Bronson. McKenney said this was recently put in place to prohibit vehicles from driving the wrong way down McLeod.
Pascal said before the chain was put in place it was worrying, as plenty of young children would play along the road and drivers would routinely turn off Bronson headed in the wrong direction.
Under the new street design, the installation of a six-inch concrete curb will stop drivers from turning onto McLeod from Bronson. But drivers headed west on McLeod would be able to turn right onto Bronson.
Project manager Max Ross said the sewers and watermains on these streets are nearing the end of their service life and need to be replaced before they begin to leak or collapse, resulting in a costly clean-up.
Ross said he’s happy that the City was able to receive a preliminary design well in advance, which will allow for residents’ potential concerns to be addressed.
“I haven’t heard anything at this meeting that causes me any concern, but if we were to get those questions we have lots of time to work them into this design,” Ross said.
Ross would not give an estimate for the cost of the project.
McKenney said that a lot of work has been done to update Somerset Ward’s infrastructure in the past decade.
She said these upgrades are all part of flood mitigation efforts in parts of the city with older infrastructure.
Ross said the construction proposal will have to be submitted to the city for funding approval by the fall of 2019 in order for construction to begin the following spring.
“This is a first design,” said McKenney. “I want to hear back from people — is it enough, whether they would like to see more.”