July 30, 2018
Sullivan’s Pond and surrounding parkland is the jewel in the crown of urban Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The Pond is part of the historic, 114-km Shubenacadie Canal System that once connected the Bay of Fundy to Halifax Harbour via a series of canals and locks between inland lakes and rivers — all along an ancient Mi’kmaq canoe/portage route.
Bridge part of Sawmill River Daylighting Project
Much of the waterway that ran between the Pond and the Harbour had passed underground and unnoticed for many decades through an underground pipe system that had reached the end of its service life and needed replacement. Following a great deal of community pressure, Halifax Water opted to undertake the Sawmill River Daylighting Project to open up and restore some of the Canal sections as an interpretive park.
Anchoring the upper end of this project, a graceful, 30 m Bowstring Truss Bridge from Algonquin Bridge now crosses the waterway at the outlet of Sullivan’s Pond.
The bridge site was previously a dam/walkway over a grated entry to the underground pipe. In its place, a gradual fish ladder now runs under the new bridge to accommodate about 100,000 migrating Gaspereau and provide an engaging water feature for park users. The new bridge over the fishway is a significant park feature.
Design inspired by one of Algonquin’s recent Nova Scotia bridges
In the process of bidding on this project, Algonquin showed the plans for the St. Margaret’s Bay Bridge that they completed in 2017 to the consultant. They liked it so much that it, effectively, became their inspiration for this smaller version.
The bridge was delivered and installed in early January of 2018 but the project wasn’t completed until spring when the concrete decking was poured and the surrounding landscaping was completed.
Daylighting – the more economical option
The underground storm pipe system was installed in the early 1970s after a major hurricane flood event swamped a large section of downtown Dartmouth. When possible, daylighting underground watercourses is a growing trend in urban infrastructure and it is often more economical than replacing the underground pipes.