Spreading the dirt

Work continues on the OTrain bike and pedestrian pathway (the multi-user path, or MUP, in planning jargon). It looks awfully close to being ready to pave. Contractors are spreading topsoil along the edges of the path. On Monday I saw this gizmo spreading the topsoil over large areas:

Here’s another picture of it, showing the source truck with the topsoil:

A few days ago, both CTV and CFRA ran stories on the path. I can only imagine what CFRA found awful; but I did see the CTV report on their website. It was pretty pointless. They interviewed several cyclists along the river parkway who didn’t know that a new path was being built. The dollar amount of the path was stated breathlessly. It was hard to tell what the “controversy” was: the amount of the expenditure, that cyclists didn’t know the taxpayer was improving their lives; or that the city wasn’t telling people about the path.

They also interviewed a storeowner who didn’t know about the path. I guess he doesn’t read his mail (flyers were sent out via Canada Post) or BIA communications. This is the same store owner who I have heard complain bitterly about the widened sidewalks along Preston removing precious car parking, who advocates the streetscaping should ┬ábe torn out.

On a more cheerful note, here are some more pictures of progress on the Otrain path.

From Somerset, there will be a staircase down to the path, especially useful for those who want to go north to Bayview Station. Here the contractors are putting up the supports for the concrete columns:


The stair runs at 90 degrees from Somerset Street. At the last PAC meeting, it was to run up the dirt slope instead.


This high retaining wall was a contentious item in the plan. It was required that the path minimize the land take in the area, leaving as much room as possible for the new station construction. In recognition of the uncertain situation, the wall is modular, and can be taken down and reused elsewhere if so desired.

The path is wide and safely graded, so on the weekend anyone can walk it’s length from Young Street to the McDonald Parkway, although the last bit of slope down to the Ottawa River is still fenced.





8 thoughts on “Spreading the dirt

  1. So will the path be open next spring? I’ll have to go and try it out.

    Has there ever been discussion about extending the MUP across the rail bridge to hook up with Gatineau’s network. As it stands, what is the best way to go from the downtown to Gatineau park by bike?

    1. So, you might even be able to ride on it early this winter, if the weather stays mild and you keep your bike out and if they get the asphalt down this fall … I dont imagine it will “officially” open until next year with the politico photo op, and no doubt it may take months to wire up the lighting system and finish the stairs at somerset, but even this weekend you can walk or ride it from bayview station to young street, except every so often you have to skirt some construction stuff. Of course, I officially recommend you wait until it is completed …

    2. Take the Champlain Bridge north and at the north end take the bike path leading east. This will connect with Route Verte 1 running east along the river. Continue until you pass a community centre and adjacent public beach and then look for Rue Coallier running north.
      Rue Coallier will lead you to the primary entrance to the park.

      Check the route in Google maps. The bike pathways are shown.

    3. I, for one, have suggested to the city that the MUP extend across the Prince of Wales bridge. If it is on the official cycling plan, then when the bridge is repaired/expanded/used for OTrain or STO bus service, presumably they would add a bike lane, a la Alexandra bridge. Would be wonderful ! Do I think it likely to happen in the short term? Naaah. And there is the issue of cost … although having an alternative to the Chaudiere bridge would be so safe.

  2. Thanks for providing all the details, Eric. This will be a much needed improvement to the neighbourhood.

  3. They paved the path, at least the part near the river, yesterday. Great step forward. It would have been better if they could have avoided having the heavy equipment on the currently-in-use path during the morning commute (there were several bikes forced onto the grass to avoid the moving equipment, and no one really there to spot for bike/ped traffic).

  4. I noticed this morning that the northern section is paved where it meets up with the Ottawa River Pathway.

  5. I been on the path several times already, and love it! You get a new perspective on the historic economic backbone of the neighborhood. The walk north has a great view of the Hills.

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