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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Atlantic Provinces > SSP: Local Halifax > Transportation & Infrastructure

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  #341  
Old Posted May 14, 2011, 2:29 AM
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Originally Posted by fenwick16 View Post
I am basing that on 5% interest fixed rate for 25 years and on the low estimate of $1.1 billion - here is a mortgage calculator.
My guess is that the government can get much better financing than what people get from RBC for mortgages. It also makes sense for the government to amortize the cost over a longer period -- the Golden Gate is 78 years old.
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  #342  
Old Posted May 14, 2011, 2:43 AM
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My guess is that the government can get much better financing than what people get from RBC for mortgages. It also makes sense for the government to amortize the cost over a longer period -- the Golden Gate is 78 years old.
I just used their mortgage calculator, I am not suggesting that it be financed through the Royal Bank. Several months ago, I remember reading that the long term provincial bonds were around 5%. Amortizing over a longer period wouldn't save that much in yearly interest.

According to Wikipedia, the Golden Gate Bridge is already paid off. Even so, it is still running at a deficit. The quote below is from Wikipedia - reference:

The last of the construction bonds were retired in 1971, with $35 million in principal and nearly $39 million in interest raised entirely from bridge tolls.

In November 2006, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District recommended a corporate sponsorship program for the bridge to address its operating deficit, projected at $80 million over five years. The District promised that the proposal, which it called a "partnership program", would not include changing the name of the bridge or placing advertising on the bridge itself. In October 2007, the Board unanimously voted to discontinue the proposal and seek additional revenue through other means, most likely a toll increase.

On 2 September 2008, the auto cash toll for all southbound motor vehicles was raised from $5 to $6, and the FasTrak toll was increased from $4 to $5. Bicycle, pedestrian, and northbound motor vehicle traffic remain toll free. For vehicles with more than two axles, the toll rate is $2.50 per axle.

In an effort to save $19.2 million over the following 10 years, the Golden Gate District voted in January 2011 to eliminate all toll takers by 2012 and strictly use open road tolling only.

Last edited by fenwick16; May 14, 2011 at 3:18 AM.
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  #343  
Old Posted May 14, 2011, 2:53 AM
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Since the Golden Gate Bridge is 78 years old, wouldn't the tolls be used mainly for maintenance? I would assume that it is already paid off.
Yes, but I think it's normal to take longer than 25 years to pay off major pieces of public infrastructure.

If NS released bonds at 5% right now I think they would sell pretty well. Also keep in mind that a part of that is inflation -- a toll pegged at "real" terms would absorb that amount over time (to look at it another way, if you still charged the $10 toll in 40 years it would in real terms be dramatically cheaper).
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  #344  
Old Posted May 14, 2011, 6:45 AM
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I've been thinking about this most of the day. There are studies out there that shows, as road capacity is developed and built - there is a mental behaviour that does cause people to drive more, but I'll be darned if I can think of any of them off the top of my head lol. But there is an episode of E squared that talked about this issue exactly (I think it was in Seoul?). Jeff Kenworthy, who is shown on the episode talks about it (he spoke at the Plan It Calgary Summit).

That being said, I think you can build the road capacity and not see it gobbled up right away by thinking about designing new communities with a much higher density. If we focus on a transit village concept, where there is typically a high density corridor and mixed use area along the central community entrance points and along the main spine through the community with reducing density (and height) into the other areas - you can build more greenfield.

The catch with that is building a good transportation system to service these areas - either by LRT or BRT. Including these into any crossing design will be important.
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  #345  
Old Posted May 15, 2011, 5:40 AM
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Even if the halport was just moved to fairview cove, I think in the long term, they could save some serious money. I just thought it would be more logical right next to burnside.

Eventually both a NWA bridge AND and 3rd crossing will NEED to be built. People will be hitting themselves for not getting it done sooner.
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  #346  
Old Posted May 15, 2011, 7:08 AM
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Originally Posted by josh_cat_eyes View Post
Even if the halport was just moved to fairview cove, I think in the long term, they could save some serious money. I just thought it would be more logical right next to burnside.

Eventually both a NWA bridge AND and 3rd crossing will NEED to be built. People will be hitting themselves for not getting it done sooner.
But didn't someone earlier say that Fairview Cove has problems as it is because of the clearance under the bridges during high tide (they can't get a boat out there)?

I didn't go back into the thread (just back from seeing Elton JOhn here in Calgary and I'm tired), but if that's the case moving both terminals to Fairview will be a huge problem for container traffic. It might be more workable to look at a relocation to the Dartmouth side - but as Waye points out - huge cost involved. Something tells me that if a relocation is going to happen, it would be on the 20 year horizon.
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  #347  
Old Posted May 15, 2011, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by halifaxboyns View Post
That being said, I think you can build the road capacity and not see it gobbled up right away by thinking about designing new communities with a much higher density. If we focus on a transit village concept, where there is typically a high density corridor and mixed use area along the central community entrance points and along the main spine through the community with reducing density (and height) into the other areas - you can build more greenfield.

The catch with that is building a good transportation system to service these areas - either by LRT or BRT. Including these into any crossing design will be important.
Great article in the G&M today on link between densification and good public transit. I wish that supposed "green" groups around Hali that seem to all be anti-height/density would read this:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle2022234/
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  #348  
Old Posted May 15, 2011, 4:31 PM
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But didn't someone earlier say that Fairview Cove has problems as it is because of the clearance under the bridges during high tide (they can't get a boat out there)?

I didn't go back into the thread (just back from seeing Elton JOhn here in Calgary and I'm tired), but if that's the case moving both terminals to Fairview will be a huge problem for container traffic. It might be more workable to look at a relocation to the Dartmouth side - but as Waye points out - huge cost involved. Something tells me that if a relocation is going to happen, it would be on the 20 year horizon.
Yeah they did say that, but my proposal was to put a tunnel at both ends of the 111 highway and get rid of the bridges. It would be a MASSIVE project, but I think it would help downtown. Especially the part about having the new stadium and metro centre on the site of halport next to the woodside tunnel connecting through pleasant point park to a north west arm crossing. Perhaps you could even name one of the tunnels after Vince Coleman or Charles Tupper? Just a thought.

Last edited by josh_cat_eyes; May 15, 2011 at 4:59 PM.
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  #349  
Old Posted May 15, 2011, 5:46 PM
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Yeah they did say that, but my proposal was to put a tunnel at both ends of the 111 highway and get rid of the bridges. It would be a MASSIVE project, but I think it would help downtown. Especially the part about having the new stadium and metro centre on the site of halport next to the woodside tunnel connecting through pleasant point park to a north west arm crossing. Perhaps you could even name one of the tunnels after Vince Coleman or Charles Tupper? Just a thought.
I would like to see the tunnels built, but the cost would be overwhelming. I think just the cost of the two tunnels would be in the $2.5 - 3 billion dollar vicinity. I am basing this on the estimate for the southern tunnel which was $1.6 billion. The northern tunnel would likely be cheaper but if the southern tunnel were $1.6 billion then the northern tunnel would likely be at least $1 billion.

I remember reading that when the MacDonald bridge is re-decked in 2014, the clearance under the bridge will be higher (I can't find a reference, but I think it was in this story which can only be accessed by paying a fee to the Chronicle Herald - Lions Gate makeover a preview of what's ahead for Macdonald - The Chronicle-Herald - Metropolitan - 11-24-2010). This project will replace the entire bridge structure except for the bridge towers and main suspension cables and is estimated to cost about $150 million. I believe that they are planning to do it at night and on the weekends by replacing one section at a time - this will be a major engineering feat (i.e. replacing most of the bridge without shutting it down for an extended period of time).

It is interesting to note the the two Halifax harbour bridges are running at a revenue surplus, it would be difficult to achieve that with a costly southern crossing, whether it be a tunnel or bridge.
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  #350  
Old Posted May 15, 2011, 5:51 PM
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Great article in the G&M today on link between densification and good public transit. I wish that supposed "green" groups around Hali that seem to all be anti-height/density would read this:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle2022234/
Yep. This is by far the best way to build a good city that actually works for its residents. In Halifax this would translate into something like a light rail line (running at good frequencies as close to 24/7 as possible, so people can actually rely on it) to Clayton Park, with high density zoning near every station. The line would immediately be useful to many people and the shift in development patterns would generate huge savings in servicing costs while improving the quality of life of residents.

Unfortunately we are stuck with 1970s views and polarized pro- and anti-development crowds who generally don't know the first thing about what makes a city actually work. As a result Halifax seems to oscillate between damaging, poorly-planned auto-centric development and randomly halting development. Unless something changes the city is headed for disaster.
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  #351  
Old Posted May 15, 2011, 6:11 PM
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Unfortunately we are stuck with 1970s views and polarized pro- and anti-development crowds who generally don't know the first thing about what makes a city actually work. As a result Halifax seems to oscillate between damaging, poorly-planned auto-centric development and randomly halting development. Unless something changes the city is headed for disaster.
I am sure there are a lot of people in between those extremes - polarized pro- and anti-development crowds.

Vancouver is somewhat unique in that it is hemmed by the ocean, mountains and US border to the south. I have to agree that Halifax must start to densify in order to save on suburban servicing costs. However, building a third bridge goes against that concept. Using the Vancouver model, it would make more sense to use the harbour as a barrier against urban sprawl.
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  #352  
Old Posted May 15, 2011, 6:25 PM
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I am sure there are a lot of people in between those extremes - polarized pro- and anti-development crowds.
Probably, but we mostly hear from the zealots. The remaining majority mostly don't seem interested enough to educate themselves much on these topics. Many people want a low tax bill for example but oppose transit development ("I don't want to take the bus, so why should I care?") while being in favour of suburban development.

Either way, the level of public discourse in Halifax is considerably behind what you see in Vancouver or even Toronto. Here's a bizarre yet typical Herald article: http://thechronicleherald.ca/Business/1243134.html

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Vancouver is somewhat unique in that it is hemmed by the ocean, mountains and US border to the south.
This has a much more limited impact on development than most people think. The mountains to the north are a real barrier but in practice the city is not even close to exhausting land to the south and east, and in fact the eastern end of the metropolitan area is very sprawly. I think local planning, wealth, and politics have had a much greater impact on development.

Also note that Vancouver is in the middle of building a giant new bridge -- the Port Mann bridge, which will cost $3B. Nearby highways are also being expanded greatly.
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  #353  
Old Posted May 15, 2011, 7:18 PM
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Originally Posted by beyeas View Post
Great article in the G&M today on link between densification and good public transit. I wish that supposed "green" groups around Hali that seem to all be anti-height/density would read this:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle2022234/
Great article. Its amazing when you combine density with technology (i.e. ocean water for heating and cooling)

I can't stand the lies from the "green" or "heritage/viewplane" crowd... Somehow they manage to get away with displaying their views as factual.

Do any of these ecology people even have science degrees?
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  #354  
Old Posted May 16, 2011, 3:22 AM
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The Vancouver area is the second biggest sprawling area in Canada behind southern ontario. Halifax has room to grow. believe it or not, sprawl can actually help a city. Nobdy is going to want to live 20-30 minutes into the suburbs when they can live in the city. As the suburbs get bigger, the demand to live in the city increases. Look at Halifax recently. There is a lot of residential towers going up. Vancouver is limited by the direction the suburbs can sprawl into. The problem with Halifax is a poorly designed road system. I HATE driving in Halifax, it is terrible. I think a big problem is the MacDonald bridge. It only has 3 lanes, plus on the dartmouth side, it doesn't really connect to any arteries. Even if it was located at the end of the 111 highway, it would make things a whole lot easier because traffic has a place to go.
A similar problem is in Dieppe on Paul St. The traffic circle empties out onto it, and the eventual connection to riverview was never built. Plus with the champlain place traffic, it is a nightmare.
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  #355  
Old Posted Oct 30, 2014, 11:31 AM
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If you look at Google Maps and track where this would go, it would narowly miss George's Island and land somewhere in the vicinity of the Cunard Center and the Dover Flour mill. The railway cut offers several possibilities for access -- one natural one (but surely contentious) is at the south end of Robie Street; another, even more contentious one is at the south end of Connaught Avenue. The natural demarcation point would be at the end of Quinpool or the start of Joe Howe Drive, but that too would be contentious. However, it does offer a tremendous opportunity to finally do something to move traffic in this town. The Quinpool option would also tie naturally into an eventual Arm crossing.
I'm bringing this issue up because yesterday I noticed a HUGE line up of cars heading towards the Woodside/Circ exit, Russell Lake exit, Portland Street exit, Penhorn exit, and Main St exit. I was travelling towards Burnside and was in utter shock at the gridlock I witnessed. A 3rd crossing makes sense. There has been a lot of growth in the Southern Dartmouth area in recent years and I'm not sure how the existing bridges will handle this growth when they appear to be maxed out now.

The other idea with a 3rd crossing is that you could move goods out of the city much faster as well.

Plus who wants to take a bus from Southern Dartmouth to one of the existing bridges? No thanks, that commute would be a long journey. They might see a real boost traffic on the buses in Southern Dartmouth.
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  #356  
Old Posted Oct 30, 2014, 3:06 PM
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I'm bringing this issue up because yesterday I noticed a HUGE line up of cars heading towards the Woodside/Circ exit, Russell Lake exit, Portland Street exit, Penhorn exit, and Main St exit. I was travelling towards Burnside and was in utter shock at the gridlock I witnessed. A 3rd crossing makes sense. There has been a lot of growth in the Southern Dartmouth area in recent years and I'm not sure how the existing bridges will handle this growth when they appear to be maxed out now.

The other idea with a 3rd crossing is that you could move goods out of the city much faster as well.

Plus who wants to take a bus from Southern Dartmouth to one of the existing bridges? No thanks, that commute would be a long journey. They might see a real boost traffic on the buses in Southern Dartmouth.
Cost of about $1.5 billion. No thanks. The delays are brief and are at rush hour/s.
We can't afford to waste that amount of money, and the same goes for the expansion of Burnside Drive. We aren't London, New York, Tokyo.
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  #357  
Old Posted Oct 30, 2014, 3:13 PM
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Cost of about $1.5 billion. No thanks. The delays are brief and are at rush hour/s.
We can't afford to waste that amount of money, and the same goes for the expansion of Burnside Drive. We aren't London, New York, Tokyo.
$1.5 billion is not a large long-term project for a city like London. This project is expected to cost about $25B: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossrail

You are talking about $1.5 billion that can be partially paid for by the users and that will be used to build a piece of infrastructure useful for 50 years or longer.

Over 30 million trips take place over the bridges each year. Imagine 15 million for the new bridge (probably conservative in the long run). Over 50 years that works out to 750,000,000 trips. $1.5 billion works out to a $2 cost per trip. It is easily worth spending $2 to save 10 minutes on a commute. Many people would spend much more than that.

These expenses always need to be put into context. All too frequently people get caught up on large cost numbers without accounting for the fact that the value they provide affects a large number of people for a large period of time.
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  #358  
Old Posted Oct 30, 2014, 3:21 PM
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$1.5 billion is not a large long-term project for a city like London. This project is expected to cost about $25B: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossrail

You are talking about $1.5 billion that can be partially paid for by the users and that will be used to build a piece of infrastructure useful for 50 years or longer.

Over 30 million trips take place over the bridges each year. Imagine 15 million for the new bridge (probably conservative in the long run). Over 50 years that works out to 750,000,000 trips. $1.5 billion works out to a $2 cost per trip. It is easily worth spending $2 to save 10 minutes on a commute. Many people would spend much more than that.

These expenses always need to be put into context. All too frequently people get caught up on large cost numbers without accounting for the fact that the value they provide affects a large number of people for a large period of time.
From a safety point of view we need a 3rd crossing, I was chatting with some bridge people recently and they told me point blank that the bridges are currently at capacity which surprised me, but I won't argue it, they are the experts not me. So ya, I guess we should start this project.
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  #359  
Old Posted Oct 30, 2014, 8:00 PM
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If the bridges are at capacity now, then that tells me this should have already been completed, or well under way by now. Waiting for something to reach capacity before you begin planning its' augmentation makes zero sense to me.
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Old Posted Oct 30, 2014, 8:09 PM
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If the bridges are at capacity now, then that tells me this should have already been completed, or well under way by now. Waiting for something to reach capacity before you begin planning its' augmentation makes zero sense to me.
People often complain about negativity and defeatism in Halifax unjustifiably, but I think this is a clear case where the city's culture is having a real negative impact on a lot of people.

The city will soon be twice as big as it was when the last bridge was built. A third crossing is needed and it's a realistic project. It can be put off, but only at the expense of longer commutes, lost economic activity, and likely even worse sprawl if people end up moving farther out on the Halifax side because they want to avoid the crossing.

We went through a period of too much highway construction but now the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. There is still sometimes a need for new roads and bridges. It's also wrong to imagine road and bridge construction as zero sum with respect to transit; most transit in Halifax uses roads! The plan for the third bridge includes a bus lane each way.
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