Nova Scotia

Shannon Park demolition project begins, paving way for Big Build

Crews with Dexter Construction rolled through the opened gates of Shannon Park early Monday to begin what will be a year-long project to take down 40 buildings on the Dartmouth waterfront.

Crews roll through gates of abandoned military community to prepare for demolition work

The gates at Shannon Park opened Monday to allow crews to begin setting up for demolition (Stephanie vanKampen/CBC)

Crews with Dexter Construction rolled through the opened gates of Shannon Park early Monday to begin what will be a year-long project to take down 40 buildings on the Dartmouth waterfront. 

The company was awarded the tender to demolish the former military community's roads, sewer system and housing complexes. Canada Lands, the Crown corporation that owns the 40-hectare property, is not releasing how much the demolition will cost.

The work is expected to finish by February 2017.

The contractor will take about two weeks to prepare for the demolition by setting up a camp inside the fenced area. The buildings will start coming down in early March.

Here's what's to come:

Dexter Construction moves on site Monday

  • Company will set up trailers and organize 24-hour security, along with traffic and pest management.
  • Fifty to 100 workers will be on site at any one time once work gets underway.
  • Dust management and air quality controls will be put in place.
  • Crews of eight to 10 people will remove hazardous materials first.

Once interior work is done, deconstruction will begin

  • Siding will be removed and metal rebar separated from concrete.
  • Materials will be either recycled or disposed.

3 to 4 weeks to demolish each building

  • There won't be much visible change over the next month while the inside work gets underway.
  • Buildings will come down one by one over the next 10 months.

Shannon Park Elementary School

  • Crews will start work at the property's harbour end to minimize impact on the school.
  • Some inside work on the buildings closest to the school will be done before the school year is over, but that work will all be contained.
  • The buildings in the vicinity of the school won't come down until July, when students are on summer holidays.

The second phase of demolition involves removing roads and underground water and sewer lines, none of which are built to current standards.

Once the teardown is complete, new roads and services will be built.

Canada Lands has not yet decided what will replace the abandoned community, which has sat vacant for 13 years. 

The public consultation process is nearly complete. Canada Lands will unveil a final draft plan, which will go through a final round of review at a public meeting in March.

Shannon Park's overgrown fields and yards fill in the spaces between abandoned buildings.

With files from the CBC's Pam Berman

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