Evacuation order lifted for Halifax street where crane fell

Almost two months after storm Dorian, residents can now return home

South Park Street in Halifax will reopen to traffic as of 7 a.m. on Tuesday now that the collapsed crane is all gone.

All sidewalks are scheduled to reopen, with the exception of one section in front of the Olympus Building.

The evacuation order, issued on Sept. 7, was lifted Monday afternoon for businesses and residents who call the stretch of South Park Street damaged by storm Dorian home.

The province is still investigating what exactly caused the construction crane to collapse.

Duff Montgomerie, deputy minister of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, said the conditions that led to the crane collapse were “extraordinary.”

Residents and businesses have complained on social media about being given short notice to evacuate, and Montgomerie said the province has learned a lesson about communication.

“We didn’t communicate as clearly as we could’ve,” he said at a news conference Monday.

Although the site is now the developer’s responsibility, the province will continue to monitor the “extraordinarily complex” situation, said Montgomerie.

Some disruptions are still to be expected for returning residents and businesses.

The crane itself, which weighs 75 tons, has been moved elsewhere for further investigation into what caused its collapse.

Most of the damage to the street was not caused by the crane itself falling, but by the two counterweights that fell on either side of a gas main, said Montgomerie.

The evacuation order displaced residents from 21 units of the Trillium building and closed multiple businesses including a café, a law firm and several stores. Some of these businesses have been able to reopen, while others are still inaccessible.

The damaged sections of South Park Street will be repaved in the next three to five days.

When asked if there were safety concerns about other cranes around the city, Montgomerie said the 27 cranes currently in operation have all been inspected and declared safe.

There is still no cost estimate available yet for municipal damage caused by Dorian.

Montgomerie said there were extra costs associated with hiring police officers to redirect traffic, but he was unable to say how much of it would be taxpayer-funded.

Abigail Trevino

Abigail is a fourth year journalism student at the University of King's College. She is also the publisher of The Watch, the university's campus magazine. When not reporting, she can be found doing yoga, baking, or reading historical fiction.

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