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Windsor Street Exchange redesign approved by Halifax council with amendments


A busy intersection in Halifax may soon be the subject of the city's next major transportation infrastructure project.

A major reconfiguration of the Windsor Street Exchange, which is near the MacKay Bridge, has been recommended by city staff and supported by a vote during council on Tuesday.

However, amendments were needed as some councillors expressed concerns about the lack of bus only lanes, active transportation routes and the ability to integrate future projects.

“As a member of Halifax Transportation Committee, I put forward motion actually looking at how we can increase cycling safety, pedestrian safety, look at pedestrian walkways. Make it more accessible to all people not just vehicular traffic," said Halifax councillor Pam Lovelace.

The staff report shows 110,000 vehicles pass through the multi-approach intersection everyday, which is above its operating capacity.

“We needed it 10 years ago and that is part of the problem. We continue to grow without updating the infrastructure that we have. We have a massive infrastructure deficit,” Lovelace said.

“Halifax Regional Council has been looking at this for many years, trying to figure out, how much money is it going to cost? What is the best way to get through there?” asked Lovelace.

The project would fall under Ottawa’s National Trade Corridor Fund, which currently requires the work to be done this year.

However, Halifax's mayor and council are confident they can get an extension.

“We’ll see. If the mayor writes a very nice letter, says please really nice, maybe the feds will give us a little more time,” said councillor Lindell Smith.

Building up Halifax’s transportation infrastructure has been long discussed.

Smith hopes the suggested amendments are right for the city now and in the future.

“Make sure that we do this project right. Our contribution has grown because of the timeline and how expensive things have gotten in general, so we are already looking at significant investment from HRM,” said Smith.

Work on the Windsor Street Exchange project is expected to begin next spring.

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