Meet the 2 biggest fans of the Macdonald Bridge's Big Lift

Meet the 2 biggest fans of the Macdonald Bridge's Big Lift

The deck replacement project on the Macdonald Bridge in Halifax has been an inconvenience for many commuters.

But for two 13-year-old kids, it's been a dream come true.

Hunter Carrier and Finn MacDonald were invited by the staff at Halifax Harbour Bridges to watch the installation of a new section of the bridge one night in February. 

The Big Lift project involved replacing the entire deck of the bridge by lowering old sections into trucks or onto barges in the harbour, and then lifting new segments into place in time to accommodate daily rush-hour traffic.

Bridge enthusiasts

Carrier and MacDonald caught the bridge commission's attention because of their enthusiasm for the project — and the bridge itself — on social media. Both were doing school projects on the bridge.

"The Macdonald Bridge just has this nice look," MacDonald told the CBC Nova Scotia's Information Morning.

Although he shares a last name with the bridge's namesake, former Nova Scotia premier Angus L. Macdonald, he cautions: "I'm not related."

New friend 

MacDonald and Carrier hadn't met before their big night on the bridge. They were both worried about being shy and having to make conversation. 

But the bonding started almost as soon as they put their safety gear on — vests, glasses and helmets — and got a drive onto the bridge at about 11 p.m. 

Halifax Harbour Bridges created a video of their night.

"Whoa. Oh my," Carrier said, as the boys walked towards the gaping hole where the old decking had been.

At around 2 a.m. they were sitting side by side against the railing, dreaming about what it would be like to have two kids lead the project as site supervisors.

As the hours passed, the boys slouched lower and lower until they were almost lying down on the bridge surface. "Don't fall asleep on me," Carrier said.

'Really cool'

At approximately 4 a.m., the new piece of the bridge was finally lowered into place.

"It was really cool," MacDonald said. "The deck segments were as high as a house."

Even though the project has been exciting for these two enthusiasts, MacDonald said he's looking forward to having the bridge back to normal, because there haven't been lights on the towers while the work in ongoing.

"Without the lights, it just isn't the same," he said.

Workers have spent the last two years replacing the entire deck of the bridge, which meant the bridge was closed to traffic overnight and on most weekends.

The last section was replaced in February, but other work on the bridge continues.