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Old February 9th, 2008, 06:31 PM   #1
cormiermax
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New bridge in Halifax?

The subject of a third harbour bridge has come up several times in the past few decades, in several different locations. Traffic engineers in the 1950s originally envisioned a third bridge connecting downtown Halifax to the southern terminus of Highway 111, and this idea is still being considered today to help to alleviate traffic on the Macdonald bridge.

The Northwest Arm has also been considered as a potential site for a new bridge as early as the 1950s. There is some opposition to this in the wealthier South End, which would be affected by increased traffic.

In July 2006 the commission has already held initial talks with officials of the Halifax Regional Municipality to construct a third bridge or tunnel across Halifax Harbour and expects a formal planning process to begin early in 2007.
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Old February 9th, 2008, 09:58 PM   #2
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Yes, they're planning for a third harbour crossing of some kind but it probably won't be built for a while.

Originally I believe the third bridge was to be built in conjunction with a bridge across the Northwest Arm and some other road improvements, connecting the 111 with the 102/103.

I've also heard of proposals to twin the MacKay bridge.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 02:26 AM   #3
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New tunnel or third bridge could ease commuter congestion, Halifax council hears

By AMY PUGSLEY FRASER City Hall Reporter
Tue. Mar 25 - 7:18 PM

It could be three’s company for the twin spans across Halifax Harbour.

With Halifax’s population growth and the associated traffic congestion, the A. Murray MacKay and the Angus L. Macdonald bridges need help from a new south-end bridge or tunnel as early as 2016, the bridge commission said Tuesday.

The existing bridges – built in 1970 and 1955 respectively – aren’t going to be able to handle the growing traffic much longer.

With 32 million crossings a year, up from about 24 million in 1981, the bridges are going to need some help accommodating the daily commuters, bridge commission chairman Tom Calkin said Tuesday.

And while the argument between a $1.1-billion six-lane bridge and a $1.4-billion four-lane tunnel has yet to be played out, the best place for the third crossing has already been selected.

The new connector could link Woodside, at Highway 111, with the CN Rail cut in the south end at the container terminal.

The province has already announced its plans to pave the south-end rail cut to accommodate trucks servicing the container pier as part of the Atlantic Gateway.

A study, done four years ago, revealed that the cost to pave and widen that could reach as high as $50 million.

In addition to the cost of the construction for the new crossing and its approaches, there are also issues of land ownership to be played out.

However, Mr. Calkin said that they have the “option to expropriate land.”

He hosted a media briefing Tuesday afternoon, in advance of a presentation to regional council at its regular weekly meeting Tuesday night.

City hall asked the commission for a “needs assessment” study on the bridges back in 2006. The tender for the early-stage analysis – at a cost of about $375,000 – was awarded by the commission last March to MRC Delphi.

Their report outlines that, at one point, 23 different crossings were contemplated as possible choices. However, they streamlined that number to six.

In addition to the Woodside-south-end bridge and tunnel, the ideas also include twinning the MacKay bridge on its north or south side.

Traffic patterns show, however, that the desired crossing would be located closer to the institutions that daily commuters are trying to reach, including the hospitals, universities and the financial sector in downtown Halifax.

Another option showed two tunnels to accommodate bus rapid transit only.

The combined seven lanes on both bridges represent almost 30 per cent of the 22 lane entryways onto the Halifax peninsula. Growing commuter congestion is clogging those arteries, the report finds.

Back in 1999, the bridges experienced only 25 days when cross-harbour trips were over 100,000.

Last year, there were 164 such days, the commission’s chief engineer told reporters Tuesday.

It may not seem like a lot, Jon Eppell said, but when you take out weekends, holidays and summer vacation, it represents 85 per cent of possible peak-traffic days.

“We are approaching the ceiling,” Mr. Eppell said.

“It’s an inevitable reality that an additional crossing has to be considered.”
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Old March 26th, 2008, 03:00 AM   #4
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At the moment I'm not particularly in favour of increasing the number of lane crossings of the harbour. To me, the increasing congestion is reason to take steps in reducing auto usage and increasing transit ridership (and infrastructure). Congestion tends to be an excellent tool in the reduction of sprawl, and 1.1-1.4 billion dollars could provide quite a nice, healthy piece of transit infrastructure - especially considering that we have no LRT or commuter rail, but we already have two auto bridges. As they say in vancouver, "Congestion is our greatest asset", and I don't care to see what kind of sprawling, low-density mess halifax would become if we eliminate this important bottleneck.

Once all those extra cars get freer access to our small, historic city centre, where will they all go? Where will they be parked? What type of business and development will their presence support? These are all things we need to answer before we can even think of a project like this.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 08:58 PM   #5
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interesting thoughts heres another article.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 08:58 PM   #6
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Tunnel or 3rd bridge proposed for Halifax
Last Updated: Wednesday, March 26, 2008 | 9:08 AM AT Comments8Recommend12
CBC News

Halifax will need a third fixed harbour crossing by 2016 to handle growing traffic needs, a new report says.

The study, prepared for the Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission, recommends a tunnel or third bridge.

"If we take a look at the projections we see a significant increase in our population and in our employment and that means there's going to be more trips for business and travel," said Steve Snider, general manager and CEO of the commission.

"Hopefully, more people will get out of their cars, but I doubt if all people are going to get out."

On the Dartmouth side, the new crossing would be based in the Woodside area off Highway 111. In Halifax, traffic would come onto the peninsula at the CN Rail cut near Point Pleasant Park in the city's south end.

The estimated cost is somewhere between $1.1 billion and $1.4 billion.

Leonard Preyra, MLA for Halifax Citadel, which includes the south end, is not convinced.

"What we need are traffic solutions that will reduce the number of cars coming onto the peninsula," Preyra said.

Snider said a third fixed crossing would allow lanes to be reserved for buses, thereby enhancing the Halifax Regional Municipality's public transit system.

Snider and board chairman Tom Calkin are quick to point out that no decisions have been made and they're open to public feedback.

"We're not trying to force this on the community," said Calkin. "We think they have to consider this very carefully."

Halifax regional councillors were briefed on the study Tuesday night. They ordered a report and postponed discussion until that report is complete.

There are currently two spans over Halifax Harbour: the Macdonald and Mackay bridges. There is also ferry service for pedestrians.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 11:57 AM   #7
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I hope any plans involve ample room for expansion down the road. Build it at least 4 lanes wide, with room for 6 lanes, a bike path, a pedestrian path, and who knows, maybe even rail tucked below on a bottom tier.

It's not inconceivable that Halifax-Dartmouth-Bedford-Sackville might build a subway one day. There's certainly high enough density. The geography of metro Halifax certainly make the case for a future subway very enticing. All that traffic funneling onto Halifax peninsula each morning and late afternoon make this a very attractive proposition. If ever there was a city that needed a subway system, this is it.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 04:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
If ever there was a city that needed a subway system, this is it.
Halifax?
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Old July 9th, 2008, 05:31 PM   #9
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i agree Halifax could use a subway. It would make downtown very exsesable. they were gona built one in 1917 but it was never done.......probably somthing to do with the exsplosion.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 02:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthYorker View Post
Halifax?
Yes, many people on this continent think you need a city of 2 million to justify a subway when really all you need is the right circumstances in place. Halifax is a small city, but very well suited to this type of transportation solution. Halifax is a peninsula with huge stains placed on entering and leaving the central city by car or bus.

The first bottleneck is that isthmus of land from Fairview Cove to Armdale Rotary. There's a significant population across from downtown that also only has access by means of 2 bridges. This is the second bottleneck. Add to this a periphery population around Bedford Basin that adds to both of these bottle necks, and you've got a situation that is just begging for a subway.

A loop that runs through Fairview, onto Halifax peninsula, to downtown, across the harbour to downtown Dartmouth, on to Sackville, then Bedford, and back to Fairview makes so much sense it's a no brainer. Much of this loop is also dense enough to make it economical. Nodes where subway stations are located would quickly densify and become areas with a critical mass of services and people.

Transit buses could for the most part simply feed the subway line. It's the perfect solution for Halifax going forward. Just one simple loop is really all Halifax would need. Later on, if need be, a smaller loop could be built to circle peninsula Halifax, then a similar one in Dartmouth. These additional loops would rest largely on how the metro evolves over the next 40 years.

Halifax really should be the next Canadian city to get a subway, not some of the other larger cities in this country like Calgary or Ottawa.

Last edited by isaidso; July 10th, 2008 at 02:45 AM.
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