Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of this Study?

This Preliminary Design and Class Environmental Assessment Study involves developing a new interchange around the intersection of Highway 416 and Barnsdale Road in the City of Ottawa. Reasonable alternatives to address the required improvements will be developed and evaluated leading to the selection of the Preliminary Preferred Alternative(s) and a Recommended Plan for the interchange.

The purpose of the Class EA Study is to identify a Recommended Plan for the interchange as part of the Ministry's ongoing review of safety and operational needs for the provincial highway network. The Recommended Plan is intended to accommodate traffic movements in all directions by providing entry and exit from both the northbound and southbound lanes of Highway 416, and to address increased traffic demands, and operational and safety concerns.

The key objectives of the Study are to:

  • Develop and evaluate a reasonable number of design alternatives for the new interchange to select a Technically Preferred Alternative;
  • Develop a preferred staging and contract sequencing strategy;
  • Obtain EA approval.

What is the Study Area?

The project is located in the City of Ottawa. Please see key map of the Study Area below.

How does the environmental assessment process work?

This Study will follow the approved planning process for a Group B Project under the MTO Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) for Provincial Transportation Facilities (2000), an approved process under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act.

During the Study, alternatives will be generated and evaluated based on technical and environmental factors and in consultation with Indigenous Communities, the general public, municipalities and government agencies. Two Public Information Centres (PICs) will be held during this Study to provide interested parties with the opportunity to discuss the Study and provide input to the Project Team. At the end of the Study, a Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR) will be prepared and made available for a minimum 30-day public and agency comment period.

How will the public be involved during the Study?

To make sure that all interested Indigenous Community members and the general public are contacted, an extensive notification process will include announcements in newspapers and letters to the general public, Indigenous Communities, provincial and other external agencies, Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs), municipalities, emergency services providers (i.e., fire, police and ambulance), local businesses and property owners, interest groups and utility companies. The public will be invited to attend two Online Public Information Centres (PICs). Online PIC No. 1 commenced on April 8, 2022. This PIC displays the design alternatives and seeks input on the proposed interchange. PIC No. 2 is currently planned to be held in September 2022 to display and seek input on the Recommended Plan for the new Highway 416 interchange at Barnsdale Road.

Invitations to the two PICs will be broadly advertised in local newspapers - Ottawa Citizen (English) and Le Droit (French). In addition, this project website has been developed to enable interested Indigenous Community members and the general public to submit their comments via the website. This website will provide general project information, updates and notices of upcoming meetings and milestones and will also host available project documentation (in a PDF format). The project mailing list will be updated throughout the Class Study.

What is the purpose of the two Public Information Centres?

The purpose of PIC No. 1, which commenced on April 8, 2022, is to provide the community with an opportunity to share information and seek input regarding the project and the alternatives being considered. PIC No. 1 introduces the project and the Class EA Study process, provides background information, describes the challenge/opportunity (or need and justification), explains the existing natural, socio-economic, cultural and technical conditions within the Study Area (including any constraints), displays the Preliminary Design Alternatives, details the evaluation criteria to be used to assess the alternatives, and the next steps.

The purpose of PIC No. 2, which is planned for September 2022, is to present and receive input on the results of the evaluation/analysis of Preliminary Design Alternatives and selection of the Technically Preferred Alternative - the Recommended Plan for the new Highway 416 interchange at Barnsdale Road. A summary of the environmental issues, recommended environmental protection and mitigation measures, and commitments to future works will be presented. PIC No. 2 will provide an opportunity for attendees to elaborate on topics discussed in PIC No. 1 and will provide another opportunity to discuss issues or concerns directly with members of the Project Team.

Will field investigations be carried out as part of the Study?

Yes. Morrison Hershfield and its sub-consultants will be conducting a series of field investigations within the Study Area. This will include, but are not limited to, geotechnical, natural sciences (fisheries and terrestrial), archaeology, build heritage, and drainage/hydrology investigations, to collect the required background information to describe the existing (baseline) conditions within the Study Area.

Will access to private property be required during the Study?

Yes, Morrison Hershfield and its sub-consultants will require access to some private properties to undertake field investigation work in support of the Study. In these locations, permission to enter will be requested from the property owners. The Ministry's staff, consultant, or sub-consultants will not enter private property without prior consent from the property owner.

Will there be any property impacts?

At this stage of the Study, impacts to properties are not known. Potential impacts to properties will continue to be a significant part of the environmental evaluation process as the Study progresses, leading to the selection of the Technically Preferred Alternative - the Recommended Plan for the new Highway 416 interchange at Barnsdale Road. Property impacts will be determined at the completion of the Preliminary Design and Class EA Study and will be presented in the Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR), which will be released to the public for a minimum 30-day comment period at the conclusion of the Study.

What is the Study timeline?

The Class EA Study is anticipated to be completed in spring 2023. A high-level summary of the planned points of contact are provided below, noting that the dates will be updated / refined as the Study progresses.

  • Notice of Study Commencement (November 2021)
  • Notice of Public Information Centre (PIC) No. 1 (April 2022) - we are currently here
  • Notice of Public Information Centre (PIC) No. 2 (September 2022)
  • Notice of Study Completion and Public Review (January 2023). At this time, the Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR) will be released and made available for public / agency comment.

Will external government agencies be contacted during the Study?

Yes.The Project Team has and will continue to contact various external government agencies such as the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF), Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries (MHSTCI), Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA), among others throughout the Study.

How are comments incorporated into the Study?

All comments received during the Study are documented and reviewed for inclusion into the Study, as applicable. Stakeholder input is important to identify issues relevant to community members familiar with the Study Area (e.g., Indigenous Community members, residents, property owners, businesses) and could provide additional insight into the Study. Feedback received enables the Project Team to understand community concerns and/or interests and to include in the Study, as appropriate.

Information will be collected in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act R.S.O., 1990, c.F.31. With the exception of personal information, all comments will become part of the public record.

When is construction proposed?

Environmental clearance of the Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR) and completion of the final Preliminary Design Report are anticipated in May 2023. Once Preliminary Design is complete, the project may proceed to Detail Design.