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Ottawa $230 combined sewer tunnel project under way


Catherine McKenna, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and other politicians at the groundbreaking for the Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel project in Ottawa, October 11.

Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and other politicians at the groundbreaking for the Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel project in Ottawa, October 11.

A ceremonial  groundbreaking was held on October 11 on the Ottawa River behind the Supreme Court of Canada for the Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel (CSST) project. It was attended by the Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Hon. Bob Chiarelli, Ontario Minister of Infrastructure, and Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa.

The project is intended to reduce the number of sewage overflows into the river during storm events, thus improving the environmental health of the river. It should also help to reduce the risks of flooded basements in the Glebe/O’Connor area of the city.

Stantec is the designer of the $232-million project, which is under construction by Dragados Tomlinson. It consists of two tunnels  that will hold up to 43,000 cubic metres of sewage overflow during major rainfalls. The capacity is the equivalent of approximately 18 Olympic sized pools. The tunnels contents will be held until the rainwater subsides, and then treated before they are released into the river.  One tunnel runs east-west through the downtown core from LeBreton Flats to New Edinburgh Park. The other tunnel runs north-south along Kent Street from Catherine Street to existing infrastructure behind the Supreme Court of Canada building. Parts of the infrastructure are located on lands contributed by the National Capital Commission. The federal and provincial governments are providing approximately half of the funds, while the City of Ottawa is providing the remainder.

Construction is expected to be completed by 2019, and the works are expected to be operational by mid-2020.

The project is the largest one of 17 projects that were approved in February 2010 as part of the Ottawa River Action Plan aimed at improving the health of the Ottawa River.

To read the government’s press release, click here.