Nova Scotia

Halifax's Big Lift enters 'rivet busting phase': work expected to get louder

Dartmouth residents who live near the Macdonald Bridge have noticed a sharp increase in overnight construction noise.

'The reality is, we have to make noise to do our jobs, it's not that we want to make noise,

Dartmouth residents who live near the Macdonald Bridge have noticed a sharp increase in overnight construction noise.

Bridge officials say that's because "rivet busting" has begun. 

Work has been ongoing since the first of March, part of the redecking project, known as the Big Lift.

But even though it takes place overnight, that work hasn't kept too many people awake — until recently.

"I love having my window open. I have it open year-round, pretty much, so it's going to be a challenge for me. I think if I'm asleep before it starts it might be OK but otherwise, it's just something we'll have to deal with," says Lucille Benoit who lives on Fairbanks Street.

The increased noise is because the work on the bridge has just entered a new phase called rivet busting.   

"We actually have to remove some of the rivets. Unfortunately that does make a lot of noise. It's like hammering on steel. The reality is, we have to make noise to do our jobs, it's not that we want to make noise," says Jon Eppell, bridge engineer with Halifax Harbour Bridges.

Nearby neighbourhoods will have to put up with rivet busting on and off until the Big Lift is over in the fall of 2017.

Bridge officials say unfortunately they can't do anything to baffle the noise. Also, noise travels depending on the temperature, the wind — even fog.  

Halifax neighbourhoods will also be affected as the project progresses from one side of the harbour to the other.  

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