Halifax’s Spring Garden Road Revitalization Faces Criticism Amid Extended Closure

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The bustling thoroughfare of Halifax, Spring Garden Road, has once more been sealed off to vehicular passage as workers endeavor to consummate the ambitious $10.8 million revitalization undertaking. This urban rejuvenation, though impressive in its scope, hasn’t escaped criticism.

Lifelong resident, Gary “Caesar” Julien, who accompanies his wheelchair-bound mother on semi-regular strolls to the Halifax Public Gardens, expresses disappointment. “The whole exercise seems rather nonsensical,” he says, “The pedestrian paths are constantly obstructed and there’s an excess of concrete.”

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The revitalization was initially pegged at $10 million, but an inflation in the budget was necessitated due to unforeseen complications such as costly utility works, unforeseen obstructions in the roadway, and delays engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Having commenced the works in 2021 which necessitated months of street closure, the team is now racing against the clock to bring the project to a fruitful completion.

For this reason, vehicular passage, including transit buses and bicycles, through Spring Garden Road from Queen to South Park Streets has again been put on hold until September 19.

Elora Wilkinson, a seasoned city planner with Halifax, outlines the remaining tasks. Three bus shelters await construction, there are sidewalks yet to be completed and work on Spring Garden demands certain “deficiencies” be addressed.

A few of the minor tasks left in their care include “reattaching pavers, cleaning valves, and dealing with the trees that didn’t survive their first year,” she explains.

Sue Uteck, who serves as the executive director of the Spring Garden Area Business Association, acknowledges the project’s longevity. “This project has been a tedious one, I must admit,” she remarks.

Uteck shares that while local merchants endeavor to remain optimistic, they are disenchanted by the neglect of certain structural repairs. Tattered planters and uneven cobblestones garnish their list of grievances. “The additional million-dollar city investment is disappointing if not accompanied by remediation of such rudimentary safety hazards on the road,” she argues.

In light of these concerns, Wilkinson clarifies that not all the dilapidated cobblestones are slated for replacement in the current phase of works. Some of the replacements may come in the pipeline, she concedes.

She acknowledges the project has been a drawn-out ordeal on the compact street, but assures the citizens that the earnestly awaited project will draw to a close in a fortnight’s time.