New $80 million freeway interchange among few new Ottawa-area capital projects funded in provincial budget

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Ottawa Construction News staff writer

A new freeway interchange to serve Ottawa’s rapidly growing southern Barrhaven community is one of only a few capital budget items Eastern Ontario in the provincial budget released on March 26.

The project, to be built in stages, has an estimated $80 million cost, according to earlier published reports. It will link Barnsdale Road with Highway 416, the main highway connecting Ottawa with Highway 401.

“The government is working with the City of Ottawa to plan and design a new interchange at Highway 416 and Barnsdale Road to support population growth and development planned by the City for the Barrhaven South area, including housing, commercial areas and employment lands,” the budget document says. “This interchange will improve safety and help keep people and the economy moving.”

The interchange is a relatively small part of the overall $214 billion budget, with a projected $9.8 billion deficit.

Barrhaven West Coun. David Hill said the interchange will be a “huge improvement” for residents in “one of the fastest-growing communities in all of Canada.”

Residents moving into thousands of homes south of the Jock River have long complained about how hard it is to get around, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. Barrhaven has added 1,500 households – or about 3,500 people per year, the city’s 2023 annual report on development says.

The only current exit from the highway near the community is at Fallowfield Road. The next exit to the south is at Bankfield Road, about 10 km away.

Barnsdale is in the gap between the two current exits, offering an easy connection with Greenbank Road and the growing community.

“This is much more direct for residents,” said Hill of the Barnsdale interchange.

The budget doesn’t specify a starting time for construction.  However, “everything that the city has been able to do within its power, it has done,” Hill said

The budget also includes continued funding for The Ottawa Hospital’s new Civic campus, and several elementary and secondary schools in the city and elsewhere in Eastern Ontario

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Lansdowne 2.0 rendering

CBC reported that little else has been allocated in the budget for Ottawa capital projects — including Landsdowne 2.0 and the affordable housing units that are supposed to come with it.

Neil Saravanamuttoo, the Ottawa-based director of non-profit CityShapes, told the broadcaster that the city had requested $20 million in provincial funding for the project.

“That’s a disappointment for the people of Ottawa and it just means it’ll be another $20 million that the taxpayers have to pick up,” he said.

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