Ottawa – The Chinatown Gateway Arch on Somerset Street, a unique “twin-city” project with Beijing, China, was recently named Public Works 2011 Project of the Year in the Structures category by the American Public Works Association (APWA). This project was completed in October 2010 with funding from three levels of government and the strong support of the local community, individuals and the Chinatown Business Improvement Association (BIA).

“This award is a wonderful tribute to all the exceptional people who were responsible for turning an idea into a magnificent achievement,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Visitors and residents alike are truly impressed by this imperial gateway to Chinatown and I want to thank and congratulate everyone who played a role in its creation.”

The APWA awards are presented annually to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects, recognizing the alliance and cooperative achievement in this instance, between the City of Ottawa as the managing agency, the primary contractor, R. W. Tomlinson Limited, and the primary consultant, Delcan Corporation. The award presentation will take place in Denver Colorado during APWA 2011 International Public Works Congress & Exposition from September 18-21, 2011.

“The Chinatown Gateway is breathtaking and already a much-loved landmark in Ottawa,” said Somerset Ward Councillor Diane Holmes. “It is a shining example of what can be achieved when the City works with other levels of government, the private sector, residents and community groups.”

The Gateway, at the corner of Somerset Street and Cambridge Avenue just west of Bronson Avenue, was opened on October 7, 2010 in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Canada-China diplomatic relations. The City of Beijing contributed the concept design and finishing and decorative materials. A team of traditional artisans and technicians from China assembled the decorative panels, the roof sections, and painted the gateway.

The governments of Canada and Ontario each provided $125,000 and the Chinatown BIA provided $350,000 towards the cost of the Gateway. The BIA also contributed another $80,000 in additional expenses required to complete the project and, of its total contribution, the BIA received almost $330,000 through generous corporate and private donations. The City of Ottawa provided the space required for the construction of the Gateway at no cost, as well as $290,000 in roadwork and other modifications required to accommodate and complete the structure. The City of Beijing contributed $300,000 of in-kind services, including architectural design, premium-grade materials and the expertise of Chinese tradesmen.