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Halifax redevelopment project hits milestone as motorists deal with traffic congestion

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The closing of a section of Barrington Street means the Cogswell Street redevelopment project in Halifax has reached an important stage.

“It is a big day. Major milestone today,” says project manager Donna Davis.

Davis says construction is now nearly 75 per cent complete. With the closure, however, comes new detours and inevitable traffic tie-ups.

“I expect that over the next two weeks there will be some congestion as people come into the district, they’re not used to the new detour road that we provided,” Davis says. “There are two major routes coming into the district, the Cogswell District. Upper water Street is still available to travellers as well as new Cogswell Street.”

Congestion is a common problem for many motorists. On Saturday, a car drove into Lake Banook in Dartmouth, slowing traffic along Prince Albert Road and side streets.

On the Bedford highway, just past the Windsor Street exchange, a serious accident involving a dump truck snarled traffic in both directions.

A street closure sign in Halifax. (Source: Jonathan MacInnis/CTV News Atlantic)

Then, with the Mackay Bridge closed for repairs and upgrades, an accident on the Macdonald Bridge brought vehicles to a crawl.

“There’s no question it was heavy traffic,” says Steven Proctor, communications manager for Halifax Harbour Bridges, noting the work is necessary. “It’s actually a resurfacing, and there are certain parts of it that are being resurfaced where you actually dig all the asphalt off and we come down to the steel and so they do inspections of the steel plate on which all of the asphalt sits, which is integral to the bridge.”

The Macdonald Bridge tolls are pictured in Dartmouth, N.S. (Jonathan MacInnis/CTV Atlantic)

Proctor says on average, there are two traffic incidents on the bridges every day.

“There are a lot of fender benders, the one this weekend was a fender bender. We have an amazing number of people run out of gas on the bridge, an amazing number of people whose cars break down,” he says.

Traffic jams affect more than just motorists; Halifax Transit experienced heavy delays on the weekend.

“Anywhere is from an hour to an hour-and-a-half sometimes some of the buses were late,” says Ray MacKenzie, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 508. “They were just stuck in traffic.”

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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