In the summer of 2007, an Interprovincial Roadside Truck Survey was conducted to establish a comprehensive database on interprovincial heavy truck travel patterns in the National Capital Region.
The survey found daily heavy truck volumes crossing the Ottawa River were 3,760 in 2007 – 9% higher than in a similar survey conducted in 1999-2000. The MacDonald-Cartier bridge carried 2,630 trucks per day (70% of total truck traffic), while the Chaudière bridge carried 1,130 trucks per day (30% of total truck traffic). The figure below shows the distribution of truck volume by classification.
Truck movements on both bridges was more predominant during the midday off-peak period or night time period than in the commuter peak periods. The midday peaking phenomenon may be attributed to the need to meet the expectations of the business day, and quite possibly truckers attempting to avoid the commute peak periods. On average, there are 47% and 41% less trips during the peak periods than during the midday off-peak and night time periods respectively.
Based on point of origin and destination, three trip types are identified -local trips, interregional trips, and through trips – which are summarized in the table below:
Of the total, 2,080 (55%) of the trucks per day made “local” trips, 1,450 (39%) of the trucks made “inter-regional” trips, while 230 (6%) of the trucks made a “through” trip.