On the Ottawa River Commuter Expressway just west of the War Museum, the road ascends a long gentle hill up and over the north-south railway track that connects to the Prince of Wales Bridge over the Ottawa River.
The bridge is very high, allowing lots of room for an electrified double O-train track to the POW bridge. Soil sampling and core drilling is going on the corners of the bridge.
Maybe the bridge is up for replacement at the end of its natural life … but it appears in good repair. I wonder if it has anything to do with the long-lost-in-action interprovincial transit study? A leading proposal last time around was to convert the POW to a road bridge and bring STO buses from their Rapibus transitway over to Ottawa to a large transfer station to be built immediately north of the new Bayview LRT Station. There are an abundance of site drawings in the Ottawa LRT portfolio that show a “transfer facility” there.
I think it would be a waste to convert a rail bridge to a road bridge only to convert it back to a rail bridge 30 years in the future when the rapibus network is converted to LRT. I would rather see the O-Train extended to Hull, terminating in the heritage stone building opposite Terraces de la Chaudiere. STO buses would use the abundant bits of road there for a turning loop.
I hope that with the signs of fresh thinking in Ottawa (expanding the O-Train, rejigging the LRT, etc) it might be extended to reconsidering rail service to Gatineau over the City-owned POW.
The PQ, of course, would have a field day with a STO transfer station: it will be easy to create a picture of civil servants in Ottawa getting electric LRT and modern heavier rail service whilst Quebecers get to the back of the bus.
In the meantime, I hope the NCC isn’t planning to build a new bridge for the Ottawa River Expressway when the current one is big enough for rail.
Final thought: if the STO gets the POW bridge, could OLRT get the Alexandra back and run a LRT line from Rideau Centre north to Gatineau over the Royal Alexandra? Recall that the Alex was a rail bridge until converted to a car bridge a few decades ago. Time to undo that mistake…