Point Pleasant forts off limits through spring
But work should be done in time for festivalBy MICHAEL LIGHTSTONE City Hall Reporter
Thu, Feb 24 - 4:55 AM
The refurbishment of old forts inside Point Pleasant Park in Halifax is to continue through the winter and into the spring, municipal staff said Wednesday.
Peter Bigelow, the manager of real property planning with Halifax Regional Municipality, said stabilization and restoration work at the three sites means park users won’t have access to the forts until summer.
He acknowledged the original job schedule called for most of the repair work to be finished by mid-December. But Bigelow said "we were able to relax the schedule a little bit and do less work in the winter, when it is very difficult to do that work" due to poor weather and ground conditions. The fortifications receiving facelifts are Cambridge Battery, Fort Ogilvie and Northwest Arm Battery.
These sites have been popular with small children, students and other park visitors over the years. Cambridge Battery’s makeover involves the "entombment" of two walls. This process includes enclosing the walls "as a way to preserve deteriorating and unstable" structures
, said a municipal news release.
Work began in the fall and is part of a long-term, multimillion-dollar master plan to spruce up the park. Bigelow said the bulk of fort restoration activity is to finish before the end of March.
"There aren’t any major issues. It’s just when you start this kind of (stabilization) work you can find things you didn’t expect."
The forts will still be off limits in the spring because planners want to let the sites "harden" once landscaping elements have been applied, he said.
"We usually let those sites ‘firm up,’ if you will, through the spring and then we’ll put people back on them in the summer," he told The Chronicle Herald.
Bigelow said the work will be finished in time for this year’s season of Shakespeare by the Sea productions.
Over the centuries, aboriginal people, the military, average citizens and extreme weather events such as hurricane Juan have played a role in shaping the park’s history.
In 1866, Point Pleasant’s 75.2 hectares were leased by Queen Victoria to park directors for 999 years for one shilling a year.
The $10-million renewal of the park is happening after much public consultation and a competition for a consultant to devise a comprehensive plan for the green space at the southern tip of peninsular Halifax.
Design of the revitalization project began almost four years ago. One of the components is a planned $3-million visitors centre for park users such as school groups.
The proposed structure would be a single-storey centre built in the lower parking lot where the canteen is situated.
So they're burying walls at Cambridge...