Halifax's Cogswell project budget rises $27.4M before work begins

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The Cogswell Interchange, built in the 1960s to accommodate a planned waterfront freeway that was never built, will soon come down.  (The Canadian Press - image credit)
The Cogswell Interchange, built in the 1960s to accommodate a planned waterfront freeway that was never built, will soon come down. (The Canadian Press - image credit)

The redevelopment of downtown Halifax's Cogswell interchange is poised to cost $27.4 million more than expected.

A staff report from the city recommends council for Halifax Regional Municipality award the tender for the work to Dexter Construction.

While the firm's bid of $95.7 million was the lowest of two received, the report says the higher-than-anticipated construction cost will push the total budget of the project to about $122.6 million.

The increase "is primarily due to the influence of inflation and higher construction costs since the time of the original project estimate," according to the report.

Although cost sharing from Halifax Water, Bell Aliant, Heritage Gas and Nova Scotia Power is expected to offset the project construction cost, the report notes the amounts of those contributions have yet to be finalized. Utility infrastructure will be buried.

Sales to developers will help recoup costs

The plan to create the so-called Cogswell district will lead to 6.5 hectares of concrete ramps and roads being demolished and converted into a mixed use neighbourhood, complete with a new street grid, transit hub, open space and a park.

The project includes the creation of housing developments for approximately 2,500 people.

Even with the jump in budget, the report projects about 86 per cent of the project cost will be recovered through land sales to developers.

Assuming council accepts the staff recommendation, work on bypass roads could begin in December. The start of construction on the new street grid would follow in January. It could be 2025 before the project is complete.

Council next meets on Tuesday.

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