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Halifax set to see traffic-filled summer with closure of busy downtown street and MacKay Bridge

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It's going to be a summer of detours and patience for drivers around Halifax, as starting June 17, a section one of Halifax’s busiest streets will soon be closed.

Barrington Street, which runs parallel from the Halifax waterfront across the city’s downtown, is set to be closed from Upper Water Street to Duke Street for six months.

“Barrington Street has to be lowered significantly in terms of grade. We have to install new surfaces on Barrington Street to marry-up with the newly aligned Barrington Street directly behind me. As well, we need to develop the on-street transit hub,” says Donna Davis, the project manager for the Cogswell District Project.

A contingency plan is in place to limit the disruption, which is all part of the city's $122.6 million redevelopment plan for the Cogswell District.

“Cogswell Street is being realigned and developed at grade. On June 17, the same day we are closing Barrington Street, Cogswell Street will open, and it will provide a detour route connecting Barrington Street to the north.”

An overpass bring motorists over Cogswell Street, which is being redeveloped. (CTV/Jonathan MacInnis) There is another major project motorists will need to plan for. The 60,000 vehicles that use the Mackay Bridge on a daily basis will need to find another route for three weekends in June, and one in July, when the bridge will be closed for maintenance.

“It’s a little less on the weekend, and that’s why we choose to do it on the weekend because there’s less traffic. We’re going to be replacing bearings, we’re going to be repaving the entire middle lane,” says the communications manager for Halifax Harbour Bridges, Steve Proctor.

“We have to scrape it all down to steel and then there’s multi-layers. It’s very different than the construction that goes on at a bridge on a highway and we’re doing a bunch of overhead inspections of cables.”

Motorists are preparing for both construction projects.

“It'll be a pain for people getting downtown because that is a major artery and certainly people going across the bridge on weekends, there’s a lot of traffic,” says Dartmouth resident, Tim Aggett.

Once the project is finished at the end of the year, it will connect Barrington and Cogswell Streets, signaling the completion of this portion of the larger overall project.

The bus stops on Barrington Street will be relocated but will be close to the existing stops. The Cogswell project is on schedule to be finished by the end of 2025.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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