The first step in dismantling the tangle of overpasses and underpasses known as the Cogswell Interchange may begin later this year, much to the delight of downtown Halifax councillors.

The Halifax Regional Municipality wants to tear down the Cogswell Interchange — where Cogswell, Barrington and Upper Water streets intersect — and replace it with a regular street grid to allow residential and commercial development to take place.

A technical analysis of the site has been done by Ekistics Planning & Design, a firm based in Dartmouth. Their job is not to decide what should replace the Cogswell Interchange, but rather to advise on how to approach its removal and phase in development.

City officials said some money for the removal project could be part of the upcoming capital budget.

"I'm really excited to see whether or not we can just get right down to taking down this street. It's going to be a multi-stage project. It's probably 10 or 15 years before it's completed," said Coun. Waye Mason.

"The first phase is taking down Cogswell and putting in a the road bed, understanding what those costs are, looking at the public amenities and then selling out the lots to cover that cost."

A report on the next steps of project could be sent to regional council in a couple of months.

Mike Savage, mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality, said what happens next will depend on the report's recommendations.

"I think there's a lot of anticipation of about what we could be there. Here's the thing about Cogswell, we don't know what we're going to do," he said.

"I've seen some designs from people who've just come to see me as mayor and said we should do this or that. Some of them are freakishly interesting."

The interchange was built in the 1970s as the centre piece of a highway project that would have seen much of Halifax's historic waterfront turned into a four-lane highway.

Public protest stopped the project and now the interchange's days are numbered.

The city has already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars repairing the structure so it will hold up until it is redeveloped