By Tyler Costello

The City of Ottawa has spent $8 million to revamp the aging water and sewer systems of Woodroffe Avenue north of the college.

Since mid-July residents and commuters of Woodroffe Avenue, which sees approximately 40,000 vehicles per day, have been experiencing the closure of all southbound traffic along Woodroffe Avenue between Baseline Road and Highway
417. Closures have also affected southbound access to Iris Street and local roadways along Woodroffe Avenue as well as the area’s southbound exit off of the 417.

Northbound traffic has been kept open due to the large volume experienced during the morning rush period and to allow area residents access to the 417.

According to the City of Ottawa’s website, “this work is being undertaken because the condition of the existing sanitary sewer system, which consisits of a bituminous fibre pipe (originally installed in 1957), is in very poor condition.”

The constriction of southbound traffic along Woodroffe Avenue hasn’t spared OC Transpo commuters either, with all stops in the area being cancelled. Detours have been in effect for Bus Route 87 and 150 with access to Baseline Station being reached through Lincoln Fields.

The rerouting of the 87 to Lincoln Fields station has left one area commuter without a quick route from work to school and without what she describes as a “safe ride home.”

Brittany St. Germain, who is taking Human Resources part-time at the college while working days at Carlingwood Shopping Centre, had to rearrange her class schedule because the 87 no longer provides her with a quick ride from her work to the college.

The closure of her usual bus route home after weekend night shifts has also led her back to Lincoln Fields bus station. Brittany said she used to “wait an extra 40 minutes to catch the 87 because she does not feel safe at Lincoln Fields.”

She described an incident late one evening when a group of about 10 males would not move to let her walk through the overpass which connects either side of the station. She said that there have been a few similar incidents and that there “is never any security to be seen in the overpass.”

The City of Ottawa website states that Woodroffe will “have new asphalt, curbing, roadway catch basins and concrete sidewalks on both sides of the corridor.” Iris Street between Checkers Road and Woodroffe Avenue will also see repaving.

According to city counsellor Mark Taylor’s blog the construction is “progressing on schedule with all work to be completed by the end of November 2012.” Upon its completion Woodroffe Avenue will be reopened to all lanes of traffic.