Halifax Harbour Solutions project declared complete

The Halifax Harbour Solutions project — the city's largest-ever infrastructure project — was declared successfully completed by city officials on Tuesday.
The $333-million Halifax Harbour Solutions project was declared successfully complete on Tuesday. (CBC)

The Halifax Harbour Solutions project — the city's largest-ever infrastructure project — was declared successfully completed by city officials on Tuesday.

"This project has reached total completion, and with it come achievements that have been long asked for and delivered," said Carl Yates, the general manager of the Halifax Regional Water Commission.

Yates told regional council members on Tuesday the $333-million project had come in approximately $3 million under budget. The water in Halifax harbour is so clean, he said, that it meets guidelines for shellfish harvesting set out by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

"There are other elements that DFO considers when they look at shellfish harvesting but from a water quality point of view, excellent right throughout the inner, middle and outer harbour," Yates told council members.

The three water treatment plants in Halifax, Dartmouth and Herring Cove are now fully functioning.

The all-clear comes after the failure of the Halifax sewage treatment plant in early 2009, after a power failure set off a sequence of events that eventually caused the station to overflow with raw sewage.

It took 18 months and $11 million to bring the plant back online.

On Tuesday, Yates revealed that insurance had covered all but $500,000 of the repair bill. The builders — Degremont Technologies of France and Dexter Construction of Bedford — also gave the city money in a settlement agreement reached several months ago.

"We did reach a settlement agreement with D&D water solutions, which was concurrent with total completion for all the waste water treatment facilities," said Yates.

"As a result of that settlement, Halifax Water did receive $3 million as an all-inclusive settlement for all outstanding contractual matters."

The Halifax Regional Water Commission said all other deficiencies in the plants have been repaired.

"Now we can truly say mission accomplished," said Coun. David Hendsbee.

Mayor Peter Kelly said he was also happy to see the work done.

"We want to thank you and your team and certainly all the stakeholders involved for a job well done to come under budget with all the challenges that have been endured," Kelly told Yates.

"It has been a challenging and rewarding project that will leave an environmental and economic legacy for generations to come."