HALIFAX – After a four days of free flowing traffic crossing the bridge at all hours, the Macdonald Bridge will be closing this evening, as Halifax Harbour Bridges (HHB) has decided to resume the overnight work.
The bridge will be closed at 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening, and will reopen again at 5:30 a.m., provided everything goes as planned.
In a statement released by HHB CEO Steve Snider on Monday, the commission said they’ve been working with the contractor, American Bridge Canada Company, to get to the bottom of last week’s snarls and delays.
READ MORE: Macdonald Bridge won’t close again until Tuesday after week of traffic snarls
“The contractor has provided a detailed root cause analysis of last week’s late openings as well as a detailed look-ahead schedule for the next two weeks,” the statement reads. “As a result we are permitting overnight closures to resume this evening.”
The release also said that further weekend closures will be done on a “case-by-case basis” and that the commission hopes to have an answer on this weekend’s planned closure within the next 36 hours. That decision will be based on whether the contractor can assure they’ve made the proper preparations to ensure another Monday morning snarl doesn’t happen.
Week of woes
The Macdonald Bridge has been closing overnight, starting at 7 p.m., as part of The Big Lift re-decking project. It is scheduled to reopen each morning at 5:30 a.m. in time for rush hour traffic.
On Monday, October 19, the bridge opening was delayed by almost five hours after contractors encountered a problem securing the new deck segment that was installed over the weekend.
READ MORE: Macdonald Bridge delays opening after The Big Lift installation stalls
Then, on Friday of last week, a struggle with moving the gantry, which lifts the new deck segments, caused an almost nine hour delay, with the bridge not opening to traffic until 2:15 p.m.
In addition to the two major delays, the installation of the first new deck segment left a large bump on the bridge’s deck which meant most cars were slowing to a near stop to get over it, backing up traffic.
After the week of unfortunate events, HHB said they were putting off closing the bridge again while they met with the contractor and had confirmation that they would be able to make their scheduled openings.