Nova Scotia

Removal of storm-toppled Halifax crane expected to start Sunday

Work is expected to begin this weekend to remove a construction crane that's been draped over the side of a Halifax building since Hurricane Dorian stormed through the region on Sept. 7.

'We really are going to take whatever time it is that we need to take to get it done safely'

A crane on South Park Street in Halifax toppled onto a building under construction on Sept. 7, 2019. Efforts to remove the crane are expected to begin this weekend. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Work is expected to begin this weekend to remove a construction crane that's been draped over the side of a Halifax building since Hurricane Dorian stormed through the region on Sept. 7.

The crane crumpled and collapsed after Dorian landed as a post-tropical storm with hurricane-strength winds.

Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency ordered the evacuation of homes and businesses in the immediate vicinity of the crane collapse on Sept. 9. Nine days later, the Nova Scotia government declared a localized state of emergency

A section of South Park Street, a major downtown artery, has been closed during this period.

Crews worked to stabilize the crane in the weeks immediately following the storm so it wouldn't topple unexpectedly. Now, they're ready to start the actual removal work.

Cables hold the top portion of the crane on top of the Olympus building. (Government of Nova Scotia)

"We're shooting for Sunday, but of course the big variable in anything we're doing here is the weather," Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Lloyd Hines said Friday.

As part of the crane removal work, Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency has ordered the evacuation of 11 additional condos in the Trillium building as a precaution.

A section of the crane is anchored to the Olympus building by cables and chains drilled into the floor. (Government of Nova Scotia)

Residents are expected to be out of the units by 6 a.m. Sunday. Hines said the evacuation was a safety precaution.

He wouldn't speculate on how long the removal work will take.

"It depends on what we find," he said.

"It's undefined territory, it's a very complex circumstance and we really are going to take whatever time it is that we need to take to get it done safely."

The building under construction from which the crane toppled belongs to the WM Fares Group.

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