Adàwe crossing, a pedestrian and cycling bridge spanning the Rideau River between Donald Street and Somerset Street East, opened today during a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Mayor Jim Watson,Rideau-Vanier Councillor Mathieu Fleury, Rideau-Rockcliffe Councillor Tobi Nussbaum and community members.
“The new crossing connects the communities of Overbrook and Vanier with Sandy Hill and downtown and was completed six months ahead of schedule,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “This connection is another municipal project that helps transform Ottawa into a more walking and cycling-friendly city.”
The name Adàwe is the Algonquin term meaning “to trade” and is symbolic of the history of the Rideau River, the indigenous heritage of the area and the bridge’s ability to link the communities on either side.
“Our community asked for a more convenient and safer option to cross the Rideau River in addition to the St. Patrick and Cummings bridges to the north. By constructing this important link we are adding an important component to the pedestrian and cycling network for residents to travel east and west of the Rideau River,” said Councillor Fleury. “Adàwe crossing clearly demonstrates that the City is committed to providing safe routes for pedestrians and cyclists.”
“The importance of this site as a river crossing has deep roots in the history of area,” said Councillor Nussbaum. “The construction of this pedestrian and cycling crossing continues the tradition of residents traversing this waterway to live, work and shop – trade- between the two communities.”
This $9.2-million project is part of the Ottawa on the Move initiative, which provides funding for improving and replacing roads, sidewalks, bike paths and transit to make it easier for residents to get around as our city grows. The project was originally scheduled to open in the summer of 2016.
Adawé crossing will also feature a public art piece meant to enhance the design of the bridge, as well as the scenic view of the river and its shorelines. A View from Two Sides, created by local artist Kenneth Emig, will feature two stainless steel reflective spheres, both 1.5 meters in diameter, situated at eye level on the extended observation areas of the bridge. Each sphere presents the observer with a panoramic view that includes the sky, river, shores, bridge, pedestrians and cyclists. The art piece will be installed in the coming months.