Halifax motorists warned to prepare for more bridge closures in coming years
Published Thursday, November 7, 2019 1:33PM AST
Last Updated Thursday, November 7, 2019 1:36PM AST
HALIFAX -- In a city where traffic is a source of aggravation for many, drivers are being urged to prepare for more of it.
Halifax Harbour Bridges says bridge closures will become the “new normal” in the coming years, mostly due to the fact that both bridges are aging, and will require more maintenance.
“The Macdonald Bridge is about 65 years old. The MacKay Bridge is 49 years old,” says Steve Snider, the CEO of Halifax Harbour Bridges.
With more than 100,000 daily crossings on the average workday, traffic on both spans is much heavier than it once was, and our salty climate is gnawing away at the steel.
But complaints about bridge closures are almost as old as the bridges themselves.
Forty years ago, complaints about lane closures on the MacKay Bridge poured in when it had to be shut down in order to fix crumbling asphalt.
Now a part of Halifax’s landscape, the Macdonald Bridge is technically a senior citizen in 2019, despite the multi-year Big Lift project, which saw regular closures for about four years.
Drivers say they have had their fill of bridge closures and the traffic woes that come with them.
“It’s actually a pain in the butt, especially if you’re trying to get across, and then you have to get the shuttle to go on the other bridge,” says Marlene Johnson.
“Everything needs to be maintained, but I personally do think there’s other ways around it,” says Brett Newcombe.
Meanwhile, Halifax Harbour Bridges is pleading for patience in the years ahead as work to maintain the bridges ramps up.