Halifax Harbour Bridges announces essential redecking project to begin in 2015

Jun 21, 2012

Dartmouth, NS – To ensure the continued safety and convenience of the Macdonald Bridge for the travelling public, Halifax Harbour Bridges (HHB) will undertake a major and essential project beginning in early 2015 – the redecking of the suspended span. Upon completion of the project in the fall of 2016, a significant amount of the bridge infrastructure will be new.

HHB expects minimal interruptions to motor vehicle travel during weekdays, but there will be a disruption of service for cyclists and pedestrians. HHB advises that it is structurally impossible to keep the sidewalk and bike lane of the Macdonald Bridge intact during the redecking project. The sidewalk and bike lane must be removed to complete the project, during which HHB will offer cyclists and pedestrians a shuttle service.

“The weight of the sidewalk and bike lane, combined with necessary construction equipment and potential wind loads, would increase the stresses on the bridge to an unacceptable and unsafe level,” explains Jon Eppell, HHB bridge engineer.

“We understand the importance of the Macdonald Bridge to active transportation in the city,” explains Steve Snider, HHB general manager and CEO. “We went to great lengths to find a way to keep the sidewalk and bike lane open during this project. Unfortunately, it can’t be done.”

HHB will provide a 24-hour a day shuttle service for pedestrians, cyclists and people with disabilities to get from one side of the bridge to the other during the project. Details of how the shuttle service will operate are being determined.

About the Macdonald Bridge redecking project

“The Macdonald Bridge remains safe, yet after 60 years, the deck is wearing out and needs to be replaced,” says Steve Snider. “This will be the largest project to take place since the MacKay Bridge opened in 1970.”

The project includes replacement of the road deck, floor beams, stiffening trusses and suspender ropes on the suspended spans of the bridge, leaving only the original towers and main cables.

The project will be completed mainly with evening bridge closures and several weekend bridge closures. The bridge will be open for the traveling public during weekdays.

About HHB

With more than 33 million crossings each year, HHB’s mission is to provide safe, efficient and reliable cross-harbour transportation infrastructure at an appropriate cost.