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Cogswell contractor reports delays; demolition could take two more years

Project manager says bulk of work is yet to come

3 min read
Two large excavators and three men work to deconstruct a large concrete wall in the middle of a city.
caption Construction crews tear down retaining walls belonging to the Cogswell interchange on Wednesday.

Demolition could continue on Halifax’s Cogswell interchange project for another two years, says the project’s manager.

“We’ll be continuing to remove the various remaining ramps and retaining walls,” said project manager Donna Davis.

“I think you’ll see the bulk of that type of removal happen in the next 18 to 24 months.”

An update on the Cogswell district project was published on Tuesday by Halifax regional council.

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The update examines possible construction delays. Davis said that maintaining a reasonable schedule is still a concern, but that costs and worker safety remain important.

“We’re making sure all of those needs continue to be met while we build this very complicated project,” she said.

According to the update, delays encountered in the early stages of the project in 2021 are still being discussed.

Contractor Dexter Construction says there have been five and a half months of total setbacks. Davis said these delays were primarily caused by underground infrastructure replacement, as some infrastructure wasn’t located where expected, slowing down demolition.

“What we are waiting for is for (Dexter) to demonstrate that (early delays) actually had an absolute impact on the schedule that that time couldn’t be recovered,” said Davis. “They’re under an obligation to adjust their schedule and modify their schedule if things are delayed.”

The update also included an outline for the next six months of the project.

Some of the bigger changes coming to the area before July include road closures to begin work on a roundabout at the intersection of Barrington and Cornwallis street (soon to be renamed Nora Bernard street) and more detour routes for traffic.

Development of a new park area outside the Granville mall, between Hollis and Barrington streets, is also set to begin in the coming months.

Construction of more pedestrian walkways and expanding sidewalks to make the area more accessible on foot will also begin before the summer.

Chris Jung is the owner of Cafe Taiyaki 52 on Brunswick Street, just around the corner from a large piece of the demolition work on Cogswell Street.

He said the nearby construction has not disturbed his business, but rather helped it in small ways. Hungry workers seeking snacks and drinks have contributed to the restaurant’s income over the last few months.

A white, cubic building has traffic cones and warning signs strewn about, surrounding the nearby sidewalks.
caption The Cafe Taiyaki 52 has had construction and demolition just around the corner for more than six months.
Mathieu Hebert

Still, Jung hopes that the construction will be finished soon. “It can be a little uncomfortable sometimes,” he said.

The $122.6-million project is demolishing a concrete interchange and replacing it with a new neighbourhood that will reinstate the original street grid. The city expects to recoup its costs by selling some of the land to developers.


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