That the Transportation Committee recommend Council receive the attached draft Statement of Work for the Environmental Assessment Study of the Future Interprovincial Crossings in the National Capital Region.
RECOMMANDATION DU RAPPORT
Que le Comité des transports recommande au Conseil de prendre connaissance de l'énoncé prélimininaire des travaux ci-joint concernant l'évaluation environnementale des futurs ponts interprovinciaux dans la région de la capitale nationale.
Continuing growth in population, employment, and tourism on both sides of the Ottawa River is having a direct impact on the capacity of the interprovincial transportation network in the National Capital Region (NCR). In order to ensure the safe, efficient, and sustainable mobility of people and goods, the capacity deficiencies of this network need to be evaluated and corrected. This Environmental Assessment (EA) study will look at options for providing the needed additional interprovincial capacity to serve the NCR over the next 20 years and beyond.
This report outlines the general scope of work for an EA study to be undertaken for future interprovincial crossings. The study will utilize a two-phase approach. Phase 1 of the EA process includes the development of the study Terms of Reference for the approval of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE). It will also focus on the need assessment of these facilities, the alternative transportation options that are available, the identification and evaluation of appropriate corridors for the crossings, and the assessment of their impacts. The following Phase 2 will emphasize the development of conceptual and preliminary designs for these crossings and their alignments within the selected corridors, the mitigation plan and the development of project costs.
The National Capital Commission (NCC), the Ministère des transports du Québec (MTQ) and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) have formed a partnership to conduct this EA study, with the NCC taking on the lead role for project administration. The City of Ottawa and the City of Gatineau are among the primary stakeholders to be consulted throughout this process. City staff have reviewed and commented on the Statement of Work. The English and French copies of the draft Statement of Work are included with this report as Documents 1 and 2, respectively.
The EA study will address the federal and the two provincial (Ontario and Quebec) environmental assessment requirements.
The study area is the Ottawa River corridor, defined by the urban and non-urban areas straddling the Ottawa and Gatineau shorelines of the Ottawa River within both municipal boundaries.
This EA study will examine all feasible future interprovincial crossing locations and associated links with roadway and highway networks in Ottawa and Gatineau. Corridor options include but are not limited to the following: Kanata-Aylmer, Britannia-Deschênes, Lemiex Island, Kettle Island, Petrie Island, MacLaurin Bay, and Cumberland-Masson.
The study will consider mid and long-term planning horizons and a balanced examination of options that will help relieve interprovincial traffic congestion and promote integrated land use and transportation development as well as inter-modal linkages and access to key activity and growth areas.
Along with the development and evaluation of new interprovincial facilities, the study will take into account alternative transportation options to enhance the capacity and maximize the use of existing infrastructure, for example: Travel Demand Management (TDM), Transportation Systems Management (TSM), diversion of goods movement from the Core Area to peripheral areas of the NCR.
Comprehensive assessment of impacts, extensive public and stakeholder consultations, development of mitigation plans, costing of the recommended solution(s), and a preliminary implementation-phasing plan will be undertaken.
The duration of this study is approximately 3 years. The primary documents that will be produced are: the MOE Terms of Reference; the Project Definition Report; the Environmental Screening Report; the Environmental Study Report (ESR). These reports are required to address the federal and two provincial EA processes and to obtain the required environmental assessment approvals.
The ESR is the comprehensive report that documents the entire environmental assessment, including consultation, which resulted in the recommended project solution. Conceptual and preliminary design plans of the recommended solution(s), including profiles and property requirements, will be produced. The ESR will also identify the approvals that would be required to advance the project into the implementation phase, as well as the process to address changes to the project once the EA is completed and approved.
Study Management & Administration
The NCC leads the administration of this study, with partnership and joint funding contributions from the MTO and MTQ. The cities of Ottawa and Gatineau, although not funding partners, have major involvement in the process as well. All five agencies have representation on the Project Steering Committee (senior management) and the Project Team, which provides guidance to the consultant team.
Transportation Committee and Council
Following this report on the Statement of Work, the next report to Committee and Council will address the Terms of Reference for MOE approval. Update reporting is also scheduled at key stages in the study. Findings and recommendations at the conclusion of each phase of this two-phase study will be presented to Committee and Council for approval.
Current Status and Next Steps
On 28 September 2005, the NCC initiated the Request for Pre-qualifications proposal call to the consulting industry. Respondents will describe their team, expertise and experience suitable to conduct an EA of this complexity. Deadline for submissions is 8 November 2005. By early December, the short-listed pre-qualified firms will be invited to submit a more detailed proposal specific to this project including study tasks, schedule, and cost.
Consultation with the general public is not necessary for the preparation of the Statement of Work. In accordance with EA legislation, public and agency consultation will occur during the development of the study Terms of Reference (ToR) as well as during the EA Study. A comprehensive consultation program will be developed by the EA consultant at that time and will be presented to Committee for consideration. Generally, the public will be consulted in the Ottawa and Gatineau portions of the study area at key stages. A Public Advisory Committee (community associations and special interest groups) as well as a Technical Advisory Committee (government agencies) will be established to complement the usual project study open houses/public meetings. A project website will also be developed to enhance and broaden the communication program.
Document 1 (Appendix A) Statement of Work - Environmental Assessment Study of Future Interprovincial Crossings in Canada’s Capital Region (distributed separately)
Document 2 (Annexe A) Énoncé des travaux – Étude d’évaluation environnementale des futures liaisons interprovinciales dans la région de la capitale du (distribuée séparément)
City staff will work closely with the NCC, MTO, MTQ, and the City of Gatineau to select a consultant to undertake the EA study. Staff will continue to participate in the study to ensure that the City’s interests are protected and report back to Transportation Committee (with the study team) on project updates at key points in the study.