Elgin Street Renewal – Ottawa, Canada
- City of Ottawa
Design And Urban Planning, Engineering, Program/Construction Management (PM/CM), Sustainability
We were the lead consultant for the planning, design and construction of Elgin Street, a prominent Mainstreet in the downtown core of Canada’s capital. The City of Ottawa capitalized on the planned renewal of underground storm and sewer infrastructure along 13 blocks (1.2 km) of the street by including street level reconstruction. With the benefit of our plans and designs, the street has transformed from a four-lane, automobile-oriented arterial road to a complete street with an inviting public realm. The street became Ottawa’s first arterial 30 km/h speed zone and its design led to an improved public realm by reallocating space from vehicle/parking lanes to wider sidewalks and increased amenity space.
Transforming A Street In Canada’s Capital
A key priority for Elgin Street was to provide a more comfortable and engaging environment for active transportation users while accommodating arterial traffic demand and a transit route function.
In this dense, downtown, mixed-use environment, an efficient use of space for all modes and amenities was required. Key elements to this end included wider sidewalks, flexible parking zones at sidewalk elevation, flexible patio space, raised intersections, new bus stops/shelters, street trees, public art, and undergrounding the overhead utility lines. Creative streetscaping techniques, including tree soil cells and planter areas, allowed for street greening within a constrained space.
Completed in 2020, the Elgin Street Renewal set the precedent for public realm and complete street improvements in Ottawa.
The project was named as a Finalist for the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) 2020 Road Safety Engineering Award.
Our complete streets approach to design promotes a sustainable and healthy future for our cities by encouraging low-carbon modes of transportation and creating a lively, livable, and business-friendly communities. The Elgin Street Renewal achieved these objectives by studying traffic needs and providing a technical rationale for a vehicle lane reduction. This in turn created space for public realm features and the ability to better accommodate all modes in an otherwise constrained right-of-way.
We provided construction services during an aggressive construction schedule which required a one-year full road closure. Close consultation with local businesses and key stakeholders, strong schedule management, and detailed phasing and staging plans allowed the re-opening of Elgin Street to general traffic on schedule.
Our Leadership Role
We provided our street design expertise through involvement in all stages of planning, design, and construction, including:
- Project management
- Feasibility (cross-section) review and options analysis
- Best practice review to support a 30 km/h posted speed
- Multi-modal transportation study
- Functional Design, including Class C Cost Estimates
- Public and stakeholder engagement
- Utility coordination
- Preliminary and Detailed Design
- Tender package preparation
- Contract administration, inspection, and engineering services during construction
For more information about the Elgin Street Renewal, see the Transportation Association of Canada Road Safety Achievement Award page.