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The road to nowhere

How we arrived at the Cogswell Interchange.

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The redundant interchange was supposed to be the entry-point for an aborted Harbour Drive Expressway. - SAM KEAN
  • Sam Kean
  • The redundant interchange was supposed to be the entry-point for an aborted Harbour Drive Expressway.

1945
Civic Planning Commission calls for harbour bridges and arterial roads to raise tax income.

1955
The Angus L. Macdonald Bridge opens, increasing traffic to the downtown.

1962
Fourteen acres of land in the newly created Central Redevelopment Area (what was then Jacob and Market Streets) are expropriated and the properties bulldozed.

1967
Construction begins on Scotia Square. Halifax hires Toronto-based A. D. Margin and Associates to design the Cogswell Interchange and the Harbour Drive expressway.

1968
Another 12 acres of land are bulldozed for the Interchange. The federal government commissions a study on waterfront heritage preservation and Harbour Drive alternatives.

1970
Public ire cancels Harbour Drive. Nearly complete, the Interchange becomes redundant.

1998
Barrington Street Strategic Plan calls for the demolition of the Interchange.

2000
The Cogswell Interchange Project Team is formed, producing three reports over five years on the physical, financial and environmental feasibility of redevelopment.

2008
HRM By Design says redeveloping the Interchange is one of its top 10 Big Moves.

2009
A bid by the Hardman Group to replace the interchange with a new convention centre is rejected in favour of Rank Inc.'s plans for the Nova Centre on Argyle Street.

2012
Council commissions a new study on redeveloping the Cogswell Interchange lands.

2014
Ekistics Design and its team come back with a plan for a new road network featuring two roundabouts, four acres of public space and six acres of developable land.

2015
Dartmouth-born John Spinelli, fresh off of managing the $1.8-billion Union Station revitalization in Toronto, is hired to oversee the Cogswell redevelopment.

2016
WSP/MMM Group is awarded the contract as the redevelopment's prime design consultants.

2017
Barring any unforeseen delays, demolition and construction work begins late this year.

2020
Scheduled completion date for construction of the new Cogswell road network. It will take several more years before the newly created parcels of private land are developed.

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