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Halifax sees heavy traffic on Macdonald Bridge following closure of the MacKay


A line-up cars could be seen near the Macdonald Bridge in Halifax on Saturday.

With a number of near misses and close calls, it is a traffic nightmare during one of the year’s busiest seasons, which is only amplified by the closure of the MacKay Bridge.

“As a result of investigation, Halifax Harbour Bridge engineers uncovered that there was some cracking into the steel plates,” explained Steve Proctor, Halifax Harbour Bridges’ communication manager.

Repairs were completed earlier this year, but it turned out to be a much bigger project than expected.

“We brought people in from all across North America to do the replacement, so we’re replacing an 18 by 32 section of the bridge,” said Proctor.

Due to the heavy traffic, the ferry has become a lifeline for people looking to get across the harbor quickly.

“The bridge is pretty backed up, There’s a lot of traffic in Dartmouth,” said Delaney Vann and Matt Wilush who arrived to downtown from Dartmouth using the ferry. “We were on the way and it was backed all the way up to the bridge and we figured we could just keep walking, take the ferry and skip it all.”

Traffic was also increased as an accident earlier in the day left motorists at a standstill.

While repairs could have been done in the spring, officials say it is better now than later.

“It leaves open the possibility that we would have to have an emergency repair in February and all of the challenges that would go with trying to do that. It could mean a much longer emergency closure of the bridge. This way it’s at least planned and we can give the notification,” said Proctor.

Another ferry commuter from Dartmouth said he specifically took the ferry because he anticipated heavy traffic.

“I’m coming to meet my family on this side. Normally I drive because it’s easy access but with the bridge being closed I was frightened with the traffic,” said James Macdonald.

Macdonald, who was coming from Eastern Passage, said it was a hectic commute.

“I was worried about parking over on the other side and if the Woodside ferry had been open where they have way more parking so it’s a lot more convenient.”

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