Ottawa has released its long awaited downtown truck tunnel feasibility study which confirms that a tunnel running under the city is technically ‘feasible’.
However, with an estimated price tag of between $1.7 and $2 Billion, the study concluded that truck traffic alone would not be enough to justify the cost. Instead, the study proposes a tunnel designed to accommodate both passenger and commercial vehicles. If constructed, it is expected that up to 1,700 trucks per day could use the tunnel and upwards of 25,000 passenger vehicles. It should also be noted that trucks carrying TDG would not be permitted to use the tunnel under this plan.
The 3.4-kilometre tunnel would extend with two lanes in each direction from the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge to Highway 417 at Vanier Parkway and Riverside Drive via a cross-town route under Lowertown and Sandy Hill. The feasibility study also considers varying ownership schemes (public, private, creation of a tunnel authority etc…) along with putting forth a discussion on tolling. However, it does not make any specific recommendation when it comes to tolling.
This study is a technical feasibility study, designed to look at whether the tunnel is a viable option. Now that this has been established, OTA is looking for feedback from members on the usefulness of this proposal with two main questions. 1. Would carriers use such a tunnel if it were built? 2. Would carriers use the tunnel if there were a cost associated (a toll system with it)?
For a copy of the feasibility study click here. OTA members whose operations would be affected by an Ottawa tunnel are encouraged to provide comments on this project. They can contact operations&[email protected].