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Bridge work causes traffic woes in Halifax

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Maintenance work on Halifax’s two bridges is inevitable and so are the traffic problems it can cause.

“It was crazy, I was trying to go to Sobeys and I was coming down Wyse Road and it was insane. It took me 10 minutes just to get across to Sobeys,” says Dartmouth, N.S., resident Laura Gaskell.

With the MacKay Bridge closed last weekend for a resurfacing project, the Macdonald Bridge was the only span open, causing it to be busier than usual. An accident on Saturday brought traffic to a halt.

“In general, with the exception of one accident that took an hour to clean up because it involved three cars, the traffic on the bridge was good. There was lots of trouble on the approaches to the bridge,” said Steve Proctor, communications manager for Halifax Harbour Bridges.

At his campaign launch party for the mayor’s seat on Monday, Waye Mason said with a rapidly growing population, traffic and transportation infrastructure development are high on his list of priorities.

“A big part of it is also bus and ferry rapid transit. We need to see more rapid transit announcements like the one we saw about a month ago. We need to see significant investment in that,” says Mason.

The toll booths on the Macdonald Bridge are pictured. (Jonathan MacInnis/CTV Atlantic)

Any major advancements in transit likely won't happen for years. Combining downtown construction projects with work on the bridges means traffic delays will be ongoing.

“This is going to be a long-term thing with the MacKay Bridge. People need to plan ahead when there’s going to be a closure, look for alternatives,” Proctor says.

“If that’s going to be for the foreseeable, it’s going to be chaos every weekend,” Gaskell adds.

A vehicle travels on the Macdonald Bridge. (Jonathan MacInnis/CTV Atlantic)

Waye Mason says a traffic plan will become clearer when the province releases its report for the Joint Regional Transportation Agency.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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