April 1, 2019 7:34 pm

Halifax commuters frustrated by Quinpool Road construction project, snarled traffic

WATCH: Commuters using Quinpool Road to get to and from the heart of the Halifax had to find a new route on Monday.

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It was a day of traffic confusion for commuters trying to get to downtown Halifax on Monday as construction on a traffic-snarled stretch of Quinpool Road.

The source of the problem is the CN Rail Bridge near MacDonald Street, which will be undergoing repairs for the next 4.5 months.

No one will be able to cross the bridge while work is underway and Quinpool Road will be limited to local traffic only between Connaught Avenue and the Armdale Rotary. For commuters, that could take some getting used to.

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READ MORE: 4.5-month long construction project at Quinpool Road to start on Monday

“It probably took me 15 minutes extra than my normal commute,” said Terri Smith-Fraser.

“But I have never, ever seen traffic like [this],” she added. “I’ve never been in a traffic jam at [6 a.m.], so that was quite unusual.”

Commuters who normally take the Quinpool Road exit from the Armdale Rotary are now being detoured onto Chebucto Road and Connaught Avenue.

WATCH: Large portion of Quinpool Road to close, Halifax says to expect delays

But that has left some commuters wondering if it’s the most effective solution, as the detour is forcing commuters to travel through other, already very busy routes.

“It’s only the rail [on] the bridge they’re replacing,” said Smith-Fraser. “They could have easily built some kind of overpass over that or a temporary road through the park.”

READ MORE: Large portion of Quinpool Road to close next month, expect traffic delays (March 14)

But residents in the area have raised concerns about the possibility of increased traffic on side streets as drivers attempt to find a shortcut.

So far, most commuters appear to be following the recommended detour, but the Halifax Regional Municipality says it will continue to monitor and assess whether things may need to change.

“There might have been hundreds of more vehicles on those [side streets] so at that level that shouldn’t be a safety issue, but if it does increase dramatically then that can certainly be a safety issue,” said Shawn Cleary, councillor for Halifax West Armdale.

Congestion will prove to be a problem for the duration of the project, so the municipality is recommending that commuters find alternative forms of transportation, including public transit, carpooling and cycling or walking.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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