Saturday, June 15, 2024

Eastbound Parkdale on-ramp will be closed for nearly the entire summer

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Motorists in Ottawa will soon need to brace for a significant road closure affecting the eastbound on-ramp at Parkdale for almost four months this summer.

Despite the inconvenience, some residents in the area are looking forward to the new construction.

“Rush hour used to be at a certain time. Now it’s all the time,” said Jim McHugh, a long-time resident living next to the Parkdale on-ramp.

Significant road closures affecting the Highway 417 eastbound on-ramp and off-ramp at Parkdale Ave. in Ottawa, Ont. (CTV News Ottawa)

McHugh has lived next to the on-ramp for over two decades and has somewhat grown accustomed to the noise.

“We don’t hear the traffic anymore after 25 years. The only thing we hear are the motorcycles. And they’re bad,” he added.

However, in just under two weeks, all that noisy traffic will disappear as the Parkdale on-ramp is set to close for construction from April 28 to Aug. 25. McHugh says that these changes are long overdue.

“We’ve been waiting for these walls to be replaced because these walls aren’t very effective for the sound. We want to have the sound barriers on the ramp also. That’s more important than up there for us,” he explained.

Crews will be working on replacing retaining walls and noise barriers to enhance safety and infrastructure integrity.

Jason Fuerst, Administrative Coordinator of the Wellington West BIA, expressed concerns about the closure’s impact on local businesses.

“It’s going to be a challenge for our businesses to get traffic,” he said. “We are hopeful that it’ll be a strong season for biking (and) scooters. And then there’s also the LRT. That won’t necessarily mitigate the challenges, but it will help to kind of alleviate some of it.”

Ottawa Councillor Jeff Leiper acknowledged the mixed reactions among residents.

“I know for some residents, they’re looking forward to it because it will probably make Parkdale a little quieter for a while,” he said. “But I know for some other residents, they’re not going to be able to get onto the eastbound Queensway until Metcalf. So, (there is) a little more inconvenience there. Just make sure you’re planning for that when you are heading eastbound.”

The closure also raises concerns for emergency services, with Ottawa Paramedics preparing for detours while ensuring quick emergency responses during the closure.

“Our unit (is) responding from the Civic hospital, we’ll have to take a detour,” said Marc-Antoine Deschamps of Ottawa Paramedics. “However, this is taken into consideration, and we have other paramedic posts in the area that could be more appropriate and able to respond, without causing any delays.”

Meanwhile, the eastbound off-ramp is anticipated to be closed from April 29 to May 14.

Despite the temporary disruptions, McHugh just hopes that these changes will bring a little more peace and quiet to his yard.

“We just hope it goes nice and clean and easy,” said McHugh. “Got to live with it.”

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