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Plans to demolish Cogswell Interchange after decades of talk

Click to play video: 'Cogswell Interchange demolition plans underway' Cogswell Interchange demolition plans underway
WATCH ABOVE: After decades of planning, the municipality says Cogswell demolition planned set to begin in October 2017 – Oct 26, 2016

Many Haligonians have been hearing about the plan to tear down the Cogswell Interchange for decades, including Halifax downtown councillor Waye Mason.

“I remember being in university and going to a talk about the interchange project 20 years ago. So people have been hearing about this project for years and a lot of skepticism that it’s really going to happen,” he said.

Mason was one of the dozens of people who attended a public session hosted by the municipality.

The event was held to update people on the Cogswell Interchange Redevelopment Project.

“The project is underway, it’s been approved by council and the engagement of our consultants means that the design and planning of the project can now commence,” John Spinelli, the Cogswell Redevelopment Project’s director, said.

Spinelli was hired in September 2015 to lead the multi-million dollar project that hopes to be paid for by being sold for development and generate ongoing revenue through the property tax of those sales.

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“We’re going to have six acres of land to sell and that land should generate the $60-70 million it will take to pay for it,” Mason said.

Construction of the interchange began in 1969, the plan was to use the infrastructure as a connector to a waterfront highway known as Harbour Drive.

READ MORE: New $200 million development pitched for Halifax waterfront

Harbour Drive was axed by city council in 1971 after citizens protested the development because it would have seen the demolition of historic properties.

The interchange remained despite the waterfront highway’s cancellation and talks to redevelop the area began in 1997.

“The redevelopment project will be disruptive and it will cost some money to dismantle lots of concrete but I believe the cost for lost opportunity would be higher than any price tag for demolition,” Mike Savage, mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality, said.

“As activity begins, we will be highly focused on mitigating traffic disruption and impact on businesses.”

WSP Canada has been contracted as the prime design consultant and CBCL will oversee traffic mitigation as the transportation consultant.

Demolition plans are set for October 2017.

For more information on the project visit the Cogswell Redevelopment website.

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