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Waterfront construction & third harbour crossing


Construction is about to begin on the Waterfront, at the foot of Salter Street. A portion of the parking lot has been fenced off, and a backhoe is parked, awaiting the delivery of supplies. The project will add the last remaining 1,000 feet of the boardwalk--- presently, the path is crushed gravel.

I spoke with Colin MacLean of the Waterfront Development Corporation yesterday, and he says this work is NOT related to the Salter Block project--- which consists of a five-story hotel and eleven story condo. That development was approved by Halifax council in 2006, but remains unbuilt. Evidently, Millennium Corp, the developer, is still wrangling with Waterfront Development over terms and trying to secure financing (good luck with that).

Likely, though, the project will one day be built. It'll certainly fill in a big gap on the waterfront, which is a good thing. But, of course, then the parking lot will be gone--- 400 spaces, disappeared. I'm all for this, but it's something to consider when people start considering whether to build a third harbour bridge, which will bring 6,000 additional cars onto the peninsula: where the heck are we going to put those cars?

The Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission is pressing forward with a PR offensive to convince us that they should spend $1.1 billion to build a bridge connecting the south end to Woodside.

A new bridge would serve to completely pull the rug out from under Halifax's transit plans and make it impossible for the province to meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals. And if we've got $1.1 billion lying around, maybe we could, I dunno, buy a bus or two?

Still, the bridge commission forges on, conducting a series of "community workshops." You know the routine: some wonky engineer type will give a 45-minute PowerPoint presentation designed to scare the hell out of everyone with stats showing *total gridlock everywhere!* unless we build a bridge and then a single microphone will be propped up for residents to speak for 7.5 seconds each.

The proper response is to picket these events, not to attend them, but if you're so inclined, there's one at the Dartmouth Sportsplex Tuesday, 7-9pm. Others are listed here.

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