Highway 417, Preston Street to close for latest overpass replacement

The Highway 417 overpass over Bronson Avenue in downtown Ottawa on July 12, 2023. A similar overpass replacement is happening over Preston Street at the end of the month. (Francis Ferland/CBC - image credit)
The Highway 417 overpass over Bronson Avenue in downtown Ottawa on July 12, 2023. A similar overpass replacement is happening over Preston Street at the end of the month. (Francis Ferland/CBC - image credit)

The latest Highway 417 closure in central Ottawa to tear down an old bridge and lift in a new one is happening the last weekend of July.

Contractors hired by the province will be doing this work over Preston Street, closing the highway from 8 p.m. Thursday, July 25 until early the morning of Monday, July 29.

The target reopening time is 6 a.m., but that can move depending on how the replacement is going.

Similar to previous rapid replacements, the 417 — part of the Trans Canada Highway — closes in both directions between the Carling Avenue and Metcalfe Street exits.

Eastbound drivers won't be able to get on the highway at Maitland Avenue during the closure; they'd just have to get off again about a kilometre later and drivers waiting to exit often back the highway up for an exit or two anyway.

Highway detours rely on Carling and Chamberlain avenues and Catherine Street, with Bronson Avenue connecting the two for people going east and Booth Street going west.

The city hasn't yet put out the kinds of detour maps it has in the past.

The new Highway 417 overpass over Bronson Avenue sits next to the highway July 12, 2023. It will be moved into place over the weekend.
The new Highway 417 overpass over Bronson Avenue sits next to the highway July 12, 2023. It will be moved into place over the weekend.

The new Highway 417 overpass over Bronson Avenue next to the highway on July 12, 2023, before it was installed. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

Preston Street also closes in two stages for this: the first between St. Anthony and Young streets directly at the overpass starting just after midnight on Wednesday, July 17 and the second one block north to Louisa Street at 8 p.m. July 25, matching the highway closure.

Drivers are asked to take Carling, Bronson and Gladstone Avenue instead. Other road users are presented with the Trillium pathway along the Line 2 tracks just to the west.

The ripple effects of these closures have snarled vehicle traffic in central Ottawa as highway drivers turn to other roads. Moving activities to a different time or different way of transportation such as transit, biking and/or walking can help.

CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning and All In A Day will have their usual live traffic updates on closure weekdays.

The bridges are near the end of their lifespans, according to the contractor partnership's website. This team previously replaced the bridges over Booth, Rochester and Percy streets, along with Bronson Avenue.

No other replacements are listed on their page. The team said it expects its work to all be finished next year.