Nova Scotia

Cogswell interchange demolition plans underway

The WSP Group and CBCL Engineering have been hired to help design and manage both the demolition and the street grid reconstruction.

Members of the Cogswell Project team held an information session Wednesday night

The Cogswell Interchange, built in the 1960s to accommodate a planned waterfront freeway that was never built, is seen in Halifax on Friday, April 26, 2013. (The Canadian Press)

Those in charge of Halifax's Cogswell Interchange Project agree its demolition will cause some short term pain, but steps are being taken to minimize problems.   

"Can I promise that no one will be impacted? Absolutely not," said John Spinelli, the project director. "But it comes down to planning and communication, it's the best we've got."

Members of the Cogswell Project team held an information session Wednesday night.

Reconstructing the grid

John Spinelli is the project director for the Cogswell Interchange. (Pam Berman/CBC)

"I came to get some sense of why they were taking it down," said Grace Patterson, a resident of north-end Halifax. "I have noticed the intense amount of traffic on Lower Water Street, so I can see there are going to be issues."

The WSP Group and CBCL Engineering have been hired to help design and manage both the demolition and the street grid reconstruction.

"We have to be able to phase it so it can be built safely," said Peter Bamforth, an engineer with WSP, "But also so that traffic, pedestrians and cyclists and everyone else who wants to use this area can move through it safely as well."

Minimum detours

Spinelli said the number of detours will be kept to a minimum so commuters won't have to adjust too many times. He adds local businesses will be given as much notice as possible.

"They may plan their own renovations to coincide with a particularly disruptive phase," said Spinelli.

A construction contractor could be hired by the fall of 2017. The project is supposed to take three years to complete.

"The final goal is going to be worth all the pain and disruption," said Audrey Muir, a senior transportation engineer with CBCL, "Because I really do believe that this is going to be a revolutionary project for the city."

About the Author

Pam Berman

Reporter

Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to pam.berman@cbc.ca

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