Contractor's mistake snarls Queensway traffic

The Rideau Transit Group could be facing fines in relation to Monday morning's massive traffic snarl on the eastbound 417.

It was a sea of cars, bumper-to-bumper, as far west as Bayshore as vehicles tried to squeeze through one open lane between Nicholas and the Cyrville Overpass.

Mayor Jim Watson said the Rideau Transit Group, the contractor responsible for widening the highway, did not re-open the lanes as early as they should have and could be facing consequences.

"There are financial penalties that could be included in the contract," he said. "They have an obligation to open the roads at a certain time and they missed that deadline this morning."

The lanes were opened 90 minutes late.

Watson said it's unacceptable to have a major artery like the 417 blocked during rush hour and staff are looking into ways to ensure it doesn't happen again.

"There's no question there's a lot of construction going on in the city," said Watson. "It's a sign of progress on Light Rail and upgrading our roads, but at the same time we have to minimize these types of disruptions, particularly at rush hour."

The highway is being widened to accommodate a lane for OC Transpo buses as the LRT's Confederation Line is built.

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