The Cogswell Lowdown

Barrington closing, Cogswell reopening & the last overpass is coming down!

Friday, June 7 at 7:00 p.m. - Monday, June 10 at 5:30 a.m.

Barrington at Nora Bernard (old Cornwallis) to Duke will be closed while crews realign the intersection and traffic lights and tie in a new detour road to this intersection.

Residents are also reminded that the MacKay Bridge will be closed over this weekend. Full HRM PSA released May 27 here

 

Beginning June 17 for approx. six months, Barrington from Upper Water to Duke will be closed. 

Crews will remove the last overpass of the former Cogswell Interchange, marking another major project milestone.  

A section of the new Cogswell Street will be temporarily connected to Barrington at Upper Water Street, which will allow for the re-opening of Albemarle Street and will reconnect a key east-west corridor downtown.  

Hotel Halifax's new driveway will be off Cogswell Street, and access for loading and deliveries has been coordinated with abutting property owners. 

 

Halifax Transit users will be significantly impacted as the four bus bays in front of Scotia Square will be relocated.

As a result, 30 routes passing through Barrington Street and surrounding area will be rerouted. 

The impacted bus bays will be relocated to (see map below):  

  • Granville Street before Duke Street (Bay 1) 
  • Barrington Street before George Street (Bay 2) 
  • Albemarle Street before Duke Street (Bay 3) 
  • Barrington Street before Prince Street (Bay 4) 

Full HRM PSA released May 23 here

How will these traffic disruptions affect YOU? Take The Coast's survey.  

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re-routed buses

May 21, 2024

Community Engagement Sessions 

Global News checks in with Ross Grant with HRM Planning and Development, to learn more about upcoming public engagement opportunities regarding land use policies in the Cogswell District, including an Open House on May 22 (2p-4p & 7p-9p) at the Halifax Convention Centre, Room 604.

https://globalnews.ca/video/10513903/feedback-on-the-future-of-cogswell-district/ 

April 16, 2024

It's all starting become more clear!

After another great meeting with HRM on everything Cogswell related, we're happy to share some must-know traffic information and some other "good to know" high- level stuff. You can follow along on HRM's page too. 

On May 20th, Halifax Transit confirms that 4 Downtown Halifax bus stops will be relocated due to the latest work being done at Cogswell.

- 2 stops on Barrington St., (by George St. and the other near Prince St.) and,

- 2 stops on Duke St. (at the corner of Granville, and the corner of Duke and Albemarle.) Full story here

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newbarrington

This is a great aerial shot of the alignment of what will be the “new” Barrington Street (blue line). The yellow arrow is where the new Barrington will connect to the new Cogswell. The blue box is an electrical vault. 

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lastbridge

Here you can see the last bridge that will come down in June and some significant grading will be done to adjust the elevation of Barrington Street. The yellow arrow down (with blue line) is the new Bells Lane and where it connects to Upper Water St.

*They won’t tear the bridge down until Cogswell is re-opened. 

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stage

Good shot of the “performance stage” being built in what will be called Granville Park. 

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cobblestonework

Here you can see where the current Granville Mall meets the “new.” They've installed benches, fairy lights and the cobblestone is expected to be completed this week. Once that's complete they will be able to open it up to pedestrians. 

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purdys

The end of the "new" Cogswell Street can be seen here, which is outside the Purdy's Wharf parkade. There has been some significant work happening around here leading up to closing the exisiting exit and entrance on Upper Water Street. The new entrance will open the weekend of April 26. 

January 22, 2024

It all comes tumbling down!

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what is left of the ramp shown as crumbled up concrete

If you've driven down Barrington Street lately, you've probably noticed the Cogswell overpass (ramp) that connected Brunswick & Barrington is GONE. If you haven't been Downtown to see it for yourself, HRM installed 3 time lapse video cameras, so you can keep up on the progress from the comfort of the internet.

CLICK HERE for more.   

What you can expect over the next 30 days:
- the crew continues to work hard at integrating what will be the "new" Barrington St.
- the crew have already started grinding up the cement leftover from the ramp (seen above) and will continue to grate.  
- the overpass to nowhere (seen below) just came down. 

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overpass to nowhere

December 12, 2023 (HRM Council Meeting)

The Next Chapter

For decades, DHBC has been a champion of the Cogswell District Redevelopment project, even leading a "
Cogswell Coalition" to influence the plans and process for the whole re-design.

This week, HRM Council started the next chapter for Cogswell by i
nitiating design parameters of the land/buildings that will be built by the development community. This is the final part of the planning process.

Watch the Council Meeting.

Item No. 15.1.7 - Cogswell District Land Use Policies


DHBC's Letter of Support -  sent December 11, 2023.

Dear Mayor Mike Savage, and HRM Council (Halifax Regional Municipality)

We are very excited to see the Cogswell District Land Use Policies report coming forward to Council (Item 15.1.7, December 12, 2023) and wholeheartedly endorse all three recommendations.

The redevelopment of the Cogswell District is a generational downtown and city-building opportunity.

As HRM staff is directed to (i) initiate the land use bylaw process, (ii) develop an affordable housing strategy, and (iii) create a unique public participation process, we would encourage HRM to engage with individuals and organizations with decades of expertise and passion which they have poured into envisioning a new Cogswell. This certainly includes Downtown Halifax Business Commission, as well as a broader “Cogswell Coalition”, consisting of a variety of organizations. Fourteen of these organizations, along with HRM, funded the report by Gehl Architects, “Towards a Human Scale Cogswell District” (2018). That report helped inform the public aspects of the district, and contains many recommendations for the private realm, which should be considered.

The Downtown community is excited by the potential the new Cogswell district will bring, in reconnecting communities, and providing new opportunities for Downtown Halifax and our capital city.

Respectfully submitted,

Paul MacKinnon, CEO, DHBC 

October 17, 2023 Update (Tour)

Earlier this month, DHBC was one of many stakeholders invited on a guided tour of the Cogswell District Redevelopment Project. As we were led through the pedways by Cogswell District Project Manager, Elora Wilkinson, master plans and road closure diagrams were passed around as we quickly discussed work done to-date before jumping into the next year's plan.

Since this undertaking is the “biggest city-building project in Halifax’s history,” it seems only fair to dedicate some time explaining what folks can expect (between now and 2025) with pictures and terminology that everyone can understand.

Side note: HRM confirms that traffic modelling has been completed to assure the road network can accommodate these upcoming temporary changes.

October 18, 2023 - June 2024

Building a NEW Cogswell Street

Cogswell Street, from Brunswick to Barrington Streets, will be closed.

During this time, folks are asked to use detours via Brunswick, Duke, or Nora Bernard (formerly Cornwallis) Streets and Halifax Transit routes will be re-routed (visit HRM’s website for more on that). 

Red section will be closed October 18, 2023 – June 2024.

As the tour made its way outside, Elora took us into the "heart" of the Cogswell District's open space network, the highly anticipated "Granville Park."

This space will connect to Barrington and Upper Water Streets via a "new" Bells Lane and will connect to Granville Mall via a street-level plaza with stairs. It will feature a variety of flexible and programmed spaces (community gatherings, concerts, markets, etc.) and will have a splash pad and performance stage.

The picture above gives you an idea, but it's definitely not as cool as some of the renderings we've seen. Our point? This park is going to be so cool! But, we digress... 

Back to the not-so-sexy stuff (but equally cool) - the old Cogswell overpass is coming down! This first closure is allowing Dexter Construction (the team behind all of this work) to continue their mass excavation, installing underground services and the construction of what will now be the new Cogswell Street.

New Cogswell Street (blue); Cogswell overpass will come down (green)

Blue arrow shows how "new" Cogswell Street will connect to Barrington and Upper Water.

June - December 2024

Barrington Street closed & a NEW Bus Terminal

Once the new permanent Cogswell Street is up and running, the crew can move onto the biggest closure to date: Barrington Street, from the former Cogswell Street intersection to Duke Street, will be closed.

During this time, folks will be asked to use detours via Upper Water or Nora Bernard (formerly Cornwallis) Streets. The Halifax Transit Terminal on Barrington Street will be temporarily relocated. Work to be done will include installing underground services and the construction of a "new" Barrington Street and Bells Lane Transit Hub. This Hub is a pedestrian-focused space that will provide amenities for transit users and street-level retail. 

It's important to note that this bus terminal is being predicted for completion 12 months ahead of the original timeline. This is because of the tireless work being done by HRM and the crew at Dexter.

Red section will be closed June – December 2024.

Chompy the Digger

As the tour started to wind down, we couldn’t help but stop and watch the dedicated team at Dexter move giant pipes around. (Let's be honest, no matter how old you are, watching “diggers” dig and cranes strategically place giant objects on tiny platforms, never gets old.)

Fun fact: One of the diggers has been named "Chompy," so if you see a children's book in the near future, titled "Chompy the Cogswell Digger," remember you heard it here first.

And according to Halifax Water, we should be very excited about these new pipes 😊 (more on this later.) 

Short-term pain for long-term gain

So, when you’re stuck in traffic over the next year, this is what you need to remember: this $122.6M project will be complete in 2025, and when it is, we will be so much better for it!

We will have:

  • Converted over 16 acres of road infrastructure into mixed-use neighbourhoods.
  • High-quality dedicated cycling lanes, multi-use paths, new parks, and open spaces.
  • A reimagined transit hub on Barrington Street.
  • A significant central urban square that will transform this traffic-centric area into a livable pedestrian friendly area.
  • And, we're adding a few new streets while reclaiming one we didn't even know existed! 

For more information about this project, visit: halifax.ca/cogswell.