HALIFAX – Halifax’s executive standing committee has unanimously passed a proposal for getting rid of the Cogswell Interchange.
The proposal was put forward by Eskistics Planning and Design, which plans to pull down the interchange and replace it with roundabouts, bike paths, green space and buildings.
Now that the executive standing committee has approved it, the proposal will be put forward to council.
“I really love the fact that it will reconnect Halifax, North and South,” said Mayor Mike Savage. “I think it will be very dynamic, I think there’s an opportunity for a lot of green space in the downtown, but also to have development. I think we can go pretty high in this area.”
The proposal was displayed in front of the committee with a virtual tour, showing the potential that the 16-acre land surrounding the interchange has to offer.
It calls for a 19-month detailed design phase, followed by a three to four year period to build the infrastructure.
Andy Fillmore, vice president of planning and development at Waterfront Development Company, said council will take the proposal to the community to get more input.
“Assuming council gives the thumbs up, demolition could happen within two years,” he said.
Some minor concerns were raised about the number of families the new infrastructure would attract.
The majority of the residential units are slated to be bachelor or one- or two-bedroom apartments, which are not suited to families.
“It also has to do with changing attitudes,” Fillmore said. “The emerging cohorts of workers, young families and graduates — their idea of success isn’t a picket fence in a one acre lot, it’s a smart phone and a community where they can walk to a café, go to the theatre, and have a great view out their window of the harbour at night.”
The interchange, which the city has been trying to change for the past two decades, was buit in 1969 as the beginning of a waterfront expressway, a highway project that was eventually abandoned in 1970 due to protests.