As the construction season hits its stride, Halifax Harbour Bridges has released its preliminary schedule of construction projects and weekend closures.
With more than $40 million of work planned to keep the two aging bridges safe and running efficiently, there will be nine weekend closures between May 22 and Nov. 19, 2022.
A weekend closure starts at 7 p.m. on Friday evening and runs through to 5:30 a.m. on the following Monday morning. There will never be a time when both bridges are closed.
Halifax Harbour Bridges closes individual lanes on a regular basis to carry out as much of its maintenance as possible, but unfortunately, full bridge closures remain necessary. There are projects – like resurfacing and the replacement of 50-year-old bearings – that simply can’t be performed with traffic on the bridge.
|MACDONALD BRIDGE WEEKEND CLOSURES*|
|Sept. 30- Oct. 2||Approach span resurfacing NEW!||OPEN|
|Oct. 8-10||Bearing replacement and Dartmouth approach span resurfacing||CLOSED|
|Oct. 15-16||Dartmouth approach span resurfacing||OPEN|
|Oct. 29-30||Bearing replacement||CLOSED|
|Nov. 5-6||Expansion joint and bearing replacement||CLOSED|
|MACKAY BRIDGE WEEKEND CLOSURES*|
|Oct. 22-23||Soffit repair|
|May 22||Macdonald Bridge 7:45 am – Noon | Bluenose Marathon (Sidewalk and bikeway open) COMPLETE|
|July 4 – 14||Nighttime closure of sidewalk for resurfacing (Bikeway shared – available to pedestrians)** COMPLETE|
|July 15-16||Full weekend closure of sidewalk (Bikeway shared – available to pedestrians)** COMPLETE|
|July 31||Macdonald Bridge 6 am – 5 pm | MACPASS MILE and 2022 Bridgewalk (Sidewalk and bikeway open)|
|Aug. 1||MacDonald Bridge 7 am – Noon | Natal Day Parade (Sidewalk and bikeway open)|
In 2021, one of the two bridges was closed on seven weekends. In 2020 there were 10 weekend closures. The bridges are being closed on the weekends because that is when there is the least traffic, and thus the least disruption. About 100,000 vehicles cross the bridge on an average weekday. On the weekend, that number drops to 65,000 each day, with very little of that representing commercial traffic. Weekend closures give engineering crews doing complicated work more continuous hours to complete a job, rather than trying to split a project into pieces over a series of noisy night shifts that disrupt our residential neighbours.
Projects that don’t close the bridges but impact Dartmouth neighbourhoods include the concrete rehabilitation of piers D3, D7 and D8. Work started on those projects May 2 and will continue through to November.
*Closure dates are dependent on the weather and other factors. Exact details about the closures will be published in the days leading up to the closures. HHB endeavours to do other required maintenance during the closures to ensure maximum use of the traffic-free time.
**In the rare instance where maintenance necessitates mixing of bicycle and pedestrian traffic, cyclists are asked to walk their bikes in the presence of pedestrians. If that isn’t possible, they are asked to use extra caution and yield to pedestrians.