Argyle & Grafton project progress

  • October 30, 2017

    On the south portion of Argyle Street, crews poured concrete curbs on corner of Sackville, outside the Residence Marriott. A concrete base for public art was installed. Trees installation began in soil cells and planters.

    On Argyle north, roadway pavers were laid up to Prince. A pedestrian ramp was installed at Sackville and Argyle, next to the Nova Centre. Light canopy wires were hung and installation of canopy lights is in progress.

    On Prince, concrete was poured for the sidewalk bump-out at the corner outside St. Paul’s Church.

    Asphalt resurfacing was completed at Argyle/Blowers and Argyle/Prince intersections.

  • October 23, 2017

    Grafton Street is now officially open to motorists.  

    Pavers were completed on the north end of street. Planters and trees were installed. Street signs were installed. Crews have demobilized equipment.

    On the south block of Argyle Street, west sidewalk excavation is now complete. The west sidewalk is fine graded up to East of Grafton. Sand bedding has been laid and pavers are now being installed. Soil cells were completed, with tree collars and grates installed. The corner outside Neptune Theatre is nearly completed with paving stones.

    On the north block of Argyle, concrete curbs were installed on the northwest corner outside the Nova Centre. Details with paving stones around valve boxes were completed. The remainder of street lights were installed. Light bollards were also installed.

    On Prince Street 80% of the new curb and sidewalk were installed.

  • October 16, 2017

    On the south block of Argyle, soil cells were completed and backfilled down to the Residence Inn Marriott. Concrete collars were poured at tree locations. Fine grading took place up to the Loose Cannon and this area is now ready for paving stones. The corner in front of Neptune theatre was backfilled and curbs were poured. This area is now ready for paving stones.

    On Argyle north, crews excavated for the curb line near Prince. Light bollards were installed and general site cleanup took place.

    On Grafton Street, paver installation continued. Street furniture was also installed. Concrete curb headers. Pedestrian ramps and tactile bumps were installed near Carmichael.

  • October 10, 2017

    Soil cell excavation continued on the south block of Argyle this week, which has involved breaking shallow bedrock. Soil cells were installed in front of Bitter End and East of Grafton. Excavation and backfilling took place outside Subway and this corner is now ready for bricks. At Sackville and Argyle, backfilling and grading took place outside Neptune Theatre.

    On Argyle North, new bike racks and benches have been installed. Crews began backfilling areas outside the Nova Centre, across from Durty Nelly’s. Pavers will follow later this week.

    On Grafton Street, a concrete step was replaced at the Sonco building. Pavers were installed northbound on the east sidewalk up to the Taboo entrance.

    Curbs were also poured on Carmichael Street.

  • October 2, 2017

    On the south block of Argyle Street, excavation of the west sidewalk began. A gateway sign base was poured near Subway. Bedrock has been encountered, requiring rock-breaking to create space for soil cells.

    On the north block of Argyle Street, pavers were laid along the east side buildings up to the Carleton.

    On Grafton, the concrete step outside the Sonco building was removed to integrate with the streetscape. Grading took place from the Wooden Monkey to the Sonco building. Excavation of the east sidewalk continued up to Taboo’s entrance.

  • September 25, 2017

    On the south section of Argyle Street, paving stones were laid on the east sidewalk area up to Neptune Theatre. Excavation began at southeast corner of Sackville and Argyle, preparing for installation of a gateway sign and sidewalk “bump out”.

    On the north portion of Argyle, treatment of the remaining old coal chutes was completed. Exposed foundations were waterproofed and concrete edge walls were installed. Sidewalk areas were backfilled up to the Carleton. Paving stones were laid up to Biscuit General Store.

    On Grafton Street, concrete curbs were installed outside the Midtown Tavern. Excavation began over the east sidewalk area outside the Wooden Monkey moving north up to Avis Car Rental.

    Curbs and sidewalks are now in place on Carmichael Street outside Scotiabank Centre.

  • September 18, 2017

    On the south portion of Argyle Street, landscaping crews laid paving stones over the east side pedestrian area as far as Neptune Theatre. Paving stones were mortared to the trench drain.

    Sidewalk excavation continued on the north section of Argyle past Lot Six. Old coal chutes were adjusted and covers were prepared and will be installed this week.

    On Grafton Street, sidewalk excavation continued outside the Midtown Tavern. Traffic access to the Prince George Hotel parking garage and Avis was switched to the Prince Street side to allow work to continue on the north end of the block.

    Crews excavated the new sidewalk and curb line on the north side of Carmichael Street. The concrete sidewalk is being finished on Monday. Brick pavers will be installed later.

  • September 11, 2017

    An all-day site cleanup took place early in the week.

    On the south section of Argyle, a concrete edge was poured in front of the Argyle Bar and Grill. Fine grading was completed over 75 per cent of east sidewalk. The electrical contractor began adjustments on the final two power vaults – these should be completed this week.

    The north portion of Argyle saw further excavation in front of Lot Six, wall drain installation and backfilling. A concrete edge was poured outside Biscuit General Store. Landscaping crews began installing tree grates. The contractor also completed a private water service lateral upgrade.

    On Grafton Street, pavers were installed over half of the area in front of the entrance to the Prince George Hotel parking garage. Tree grates were installed. Work also began on the north side Carmichael Street sidewalk. One day of work was lost due to heavy rain on September 7.

  • September 5, 2017

    On the south portion of Argyle Street, wall drain installation was completed outside Argyle Bar and Grill and the former Flip Burger. A coal chute cover was installed in front of Argyle Bar and Grill. Electrical contractors adjusted the height of one of three Nova Scotia power vaults outside Neptune Theatre. Sidewalk grading also continued.

    The north section of Argyle saw further sidewalk excavation on the east side. Waterproofing and wall drain installation took place in front of Durty Nelly’s. Final grading began in preparation for sidewalk paving stones.

    On Grafton Street, landscaping crews laid brick pavers over the west side pedestrian area up to the Prince George Hotel parking garage entrance.

  • August 28, 2017

    On the south portion of Argyle, gas laterals were installed outside the Neptune Theatre and the Argyle Bar and Grill. Sidewalk excavation continued outside the Argyle Bar and Grill, where two underground cavities were uncovered. Walkway paving stones were installed at corner of Blowers and Argyle.

    On Argyle north, roadway pavers are now complete up to Prince Street. Pavers were installed at the north-east corner of Argyle and Sackville streets. On the Nova Centre side, street lights were removed and replaced with temporary lighting.

    Trench drain installation is complete on Grafton Street. Roadway grading took place and west-side curbs are now complete up to the Prince George parkade. Sidewalk excavation began on the west side. Roadway and sidewalk pavers are now being installed.

  • August 21, 2017

    This past week on the south portion of Argyle Street, sidewalk excavation began on the east side of the street. Access ramps were installed to facilitate business access and a concrete barrier was poured next to the wall foundation of 1565 Argyle Street (former Flip Burger). Depending on the subsurface conditions next to individual buildings, there will be a variety of approaches for finishing the work adjacent to existing structures.

    On the north section of Argyle, roadway paving stones were installed on 75 per cent of the street.

    Sidewalk excavation began outside of Durty Nelly’s. This area has been backfilled and paving stones will be installed early this week.

    On Grafton Street, concrete was poured for the rolled curbs and trench drains. Grading also took place.

  • August 14, 2017 - Last week, work began to replace the east sidewalk on the south section of Argyle Street, starting at Blowers Street. With work beginning to replace the sidewalks, we entered a new phase of construction where pedestrian access will be changing frequently. We are working with the contractor to ensure the best possible pedestrian access is maintained. A portable bridge or ramp will be the standard way to maintain access to businesses as work continues over sidewalk areas. The method may change depending on the business location and its number of entrances.

    On the north section of Argyle Street, concrete curb headers were installed at Sackville Street. Following this work, bedding sand and pavers will be laid on this section of Argyle Street.

    On Grafton Street, gravel and grading took place. Trench drain installation stared on the north section of the street.

  • August 8, 2017 - Last week, paving stone installation began over the south portion of Argyle Street, moving north from Blowers Street. On the north section of Argyle Street, a catch basin was installed and concrete curb corners were also poured at Sackville Street. The next section of Grafton Street has now been fully excavated. Sub-drain installation has began and additional concrete light bases were poured.
  • August 3, 2017 - Timeline Update: At nine weeks in, the municipality has made a lot of great progress on the Argyle and Grafton Shared Streetscape Project. It’s particularly exciting to see the new paving stones on Grafton Street and the south portion of Argyle Street – a glimpse of what’s to come when the project is complete. Many challenges were anticipated, and planned for, in the delivery of such a significant construction project in one of the region’s oldest city blocks. However, the scope and scale of these challenges has been beyond our initial expectations and, as a result, the targeted completion will be delayed by 3-6 weeks. Our construction contractor has encountered substantial amounts of unknown and disused underground infrastructure, which had slowed progress. Elements of the design have had to be relocated or re-engineered to accommodate what lies beneath the surface. The next phase of construction, involving the sidewalks may bring new challenges and it is with this in mind that we must prudently prepare for a delay. We’re working closely with the contractor to identify all possible opportunities to expedite progress without compromising on the commitment to deliver a high standard of quality.
  • July 31, 2017 - Installation of paving stones over the south portion of Argyle Street. Trench drain work on the north portion of Argyle Street. One concrete light base remains to be installed. Once the trench drain is complete, work will begin on the concrete curb headers at Argyle and Prince Streets. Prince Street traffic lanes will be reduced to accommodate this work. The mid-portion of Grafton street will have disruptions as the roadway and west side sidewalk up to Freemans, including Prince George delivery door, are excavated. The contractor will be coordinating directly with businesses on this block to plan access changes required to move on to the next stage of work for Grafton.
  • July 25, 2017 - Private water lateral services were completed on north section of Argyle Street. Halifax Water completed fire hydrant work on Prince Street. Soil cells are now finished on the north section of Argyle, and trench drain installation has begun. Electrical contractors began installing conduit beneath the road near Sackville Street. On the south portion of Argyle, the trench drain is now complete. Gravel was laid and concrete curb headers were installed last week. The first paver stones were installed on Grafton Street.
  • July 18, 2017 - The trench drain on the south section of Argyle is nearly completed. The final soils cells are in on the north section of Argyle and will be backfilled today. Catch basin work was completed on north Argyle street. Almost all concrete light pole bases are now installed. One more base will be installed in front of Neptune Theatre soon. The south portion of Grafton Street is now curbed and graded and ready for brick work.

  • July 10, 2017 - Contractors made good progress last week, completing the concrete curb header at Grafton and Prince street. Grading, laying gravel and surface compacting also took place. LED light canopy bases go in today on the north section of Argyle (a little bit of rock breaking is required for this). This is an important milestone for moving forward on the north block of Argyle. Sub drains were installed on Grafton and the both sections of Argyle street.

    Residents are reminded that sidewalks remain accessible throughout construction and that Argyle/ Grafton shops and restaurants remain open and many are offering excellent promotions during the construction period.

  • July 4, 2017 - Soil cell installation is now complete on Grafton Street, and half finished on the north section of Argyle street. Several streetlight pole bases have been installed on Argyle Street. Bell Aliant and Heritage Gas completed necessary below surface work on site last week.

    Curb construction began on the south end of Grafton Street. The sidewalk detour at Grafton and Prince Streets will remain in place until the paving stone installation begins, at which point the crossing will return to normal.

  • June 19, 2017 - Manhole excavation and installation continued. Manholes are now completed except for one at Carmichael Street and one at Prince Street. Some issues arose with Halifax Water work required on the north section of Argyle; the impact on the project schedule for Argyle south is TBD. Archaeological surprises were uncovered on Argyle Street including pottery and artifacts from the mid-1800s. Despite the hopes of some history buffs, no tunnels were discovered beneath Argyle Street.
  • June 12, 2017 - Road surface and curb removal is completed on Argyle Street, and a portion of Grafton Street. Pipe crews install new manholes and catch basins. The manhole near Argyle and Blowers is completed. Hydrant work is completed.
  • June 5, 2017 - Removal of the existing road surface begins. Road surface removal is expected to be completed early this week, which means there will be less heavy truck traffic moving forward.
  • June 1, 2017 - Construction begins. Perimeter fencing is installed around the areas to be worked on in Phase One. The streets are closed to through vehicle traffic but there will always be pedestrian access to every doorway on the project streets and vehicle access to the parking garages and to Avis Rent-a-Car.
  • May 25, 2017 - Project staff and contractors met with local business owners and operators for an information session before construction begins June 1, 2017.  A project postcard was distributed to businesses to provide information about the project.
  • April 25, 2017 - Regional Council approved and awarded construction tender to Dexter Construction Company Limited, construction services to Ekistics Plan + Design, and archaeological monitoring and reporting to Davis MacIntyre & Associates Ltd. This significant milestone represents a major investment in the future of our urban core.
  • April 12, 2017 - Construction tender closed. Project staff prepared a number of cost sharing agreements with utilities in order to finalize a comprehensive tender award report for Regional Council. 
  • April 12, 2017 - Project staff met with District 7 Councillor Waye Mason and Downtown Halifax Business Commission board members to discuss the project timeline and construction phasing in more detail.
  • April 8, 2017 - Further to a request from businesses to consider applications for a short patio season prior the targeted project start date of June 1, 2017, staff advised sidewalk café operators on the affected portions of Argyle and Grafton Streets that applications will be accepted. Any license issued will require deconstruction of the sidewalk café by May 29, 2017 to allow for construction to commence on schedule.
  • March 31, 2017 - Staff and consultants presented an update to stakeholders regarding the project design, construction schedule and status of sidewalk cafe permits for 2017
  • March 29, 2017 - The detailed design was issued for tender
  • January 2017 - Construction drawings finalized.
  • June 10, 2016 - The 90% detailed design phase is completed.
  • May 27, 2016 - An animated rendering of the schematic design is completed. Some elements are conceptual in nature and other elements will be at the discretion of the businesses.
  • May 17, 2016 - A meeting to update stakeholders was held at Halifax Hall. Staff and consultants presented details about the design and options for scheduling.
  • May 11, 2016 - Municipal and Halifax Water officials met and decided against replacing a watermain on Argyle Street, as it would have added eight weeks to the construction schedule. While the watermain is old, it has excellent service history and if it breaks, the repair should only take a day or so.
  • April 26, 2016 - Regional Council unanimously approved moving forward with the project.
  • April 14, 2016 – Ekistics completed 50% detailed drawings and cost estimates.
  • February 2016 - Ekistics completed schematic design and cost estimates for two design options. 
  • February 4, 2016 - An information session for persons with disabilities to ensure the design is inclusive and accessible was held.
  • January 18, 2016 – The project is presented to the Accessibility Advisory Committee.
  • December 2015 to January 2016 - Ekistics interviewed project area businesses owners on a one-on-one basis.
  • December 16, 2015 - The Downtown Halifax Business Commission hosted a design workshop where municipal staff and project consultants introduced the project and heard from business and property owners in the project area. Feedback was gathered to inform the design and implementation of the shared street.
  • Early December 2015 - Topographic survey completed.
  • November 2015 - Ekistics Plan & Design was awarded the contract to prepare a detailed design for the Argyle and Grafton Shared Streetscapes Project.
  • July 21, 2015 - Regional Council recommended that staff advance a design and business case for this project.
  • September 2015 – In response to the need strengthen pedestrian connections between the Nova Centre and the Scotiabank Centre, the municipality commissioned a shared street concept plan for one block of Grafton Street between Prince and Carmichael Streets.
  • Summer 2015 – A six-week pilot project tested the feasibility of the shared street concept on Argyle Street between Blowers and Sackville Streets. The final design is informed by feedback from this trial.
  • August 2012 – Excavation and construction of the Nova Centre began in the area bounded by Argyle, Sackville, Market, and Prince Streets. 
  • 2012 - the Downtown Halifax Business Commission developed a concept plan and report to build a shared vision for the two block section of Argyle Street between Prince and Blowers Streets.