Technical Tours

The following Technical Tours are included in the Joint Conference Technical Program. Registered delegates can sign up in August for the Technical Tours. Some restrictions apply.





Highway 102/103 Interchange Upgrading and Highway 103 Twinning

This tour will include site visits to two major provincial highway projects currently under construction in the Halifax area. 

The Highway 102/103 Interchange Upgrading project involves the reconstruction of a system interchange on one of the primary routes onto the Halifax Peninsula. The project includes a new interchange structure that will accommodate future expansion of Highway 102, improved ramp geometry and elimination of an existing ramp weaving issue by grade separating the ramp movements with a new structure.

The Highway 103 Upper Tantallon to Ingramport Twinning project is Phase 1 of a 22 km initiative to upgrade the existing section of 2-lane highway to a 4-lane divided facility in an effort to improve the safety, capacity and efficiency of this section of Highway 103.

A-1:  Wed., Sept. 25:  8:30am
A-2:  Wed., Sept. 25:  13:45pm
Maximum # of participants:  30


Tour of various roundabouts in the Metro Halifax Area, new and more seasoned roundabouts will be showcased:

  • North Park Street – Two urban multi-lane roundabouts built as part of a Complete Streets project.
  • The Armdale Roundabout - a 3-lane, 5 leg roundabout with reversing lanes on two approaches. We will look at how they are working, some potential upgrades, and how to manage closures during construction.
  • Larry Uteck Boulevard – Three multi lane roundabouts that are part of an interchange and new development. We will look at how they are working a few years after opening and some upcoming improvements. 
  • Proposed roundabout at Akerley Boulevard and Burnside Drive – Part of an arterial road extension and highway connection in an industrial park. We will look at challenges with large vehicles and Active Transportation connections. 
  • Countryview Dr. Roundabout – Single lane roundabout with slip lane adjacent to new large commercial development.

B-1:  Tues., Sept. 24:  8:30am
Maximum # of participants:  30



Guided tour of the suspended spans deck replacement project, also known as the ‘Big Lift’

From 2015 until 2018 Halifax Harbour Bridges (HHB) replaced the suspended spans of the Macdonald Bridge spanning the Halifax harbour. It was only the second time in the world the suspended spans of a suspension bridge were replaced while keeping it open to traffic most of the time. 

The project included replacing the entire road deck, floor beams, trusses and vertical hangers. Additional features of the project included adding a dehumidification system to the main cable to prevent future corrosion. The result is that this 63 year-old bridge is now safe for at least another generation. 

This tour will include an opportunity view videos of this engineering feat, walk under the bridge to inspect new components of the structure and see how dehumidification on the main cables works.


  • A portion of the tour includes walking on the catwalk under the bridge (over water and at extreme heights). People with mobility issues may not be able to participate in this aspect of the tour. 
  • Hard hats and high visibility vests will be provided. Participants are to wear closed-toe, durable shoes and dress for the weather. People without proper footwear will not be permitted to participate in the tour.
  • The tour includes walking approximately 2 km. 

C-1: Tues., Sept. 24:  13:45pm
Maximum # of participants:  50


Working towards an All Ages and Abilities Bicycle Network in Halifax

As part of implementing the Integrated Mobility Plan, Halifax is developing a network of modern bicycle facilities designed for all ages and abilities. This tour will feature recently completed protected bike lane and local street bikeway projects, view projects in the planning stages and explore existing pathways. The tour will include short presentations from engineers and planners who are working on the projects. Along the way we will visit some key Halifax destinations and landmarks. The tour will be about 15 km and will focus on the Halifax peninsula. 

Note: This tour involves a short walk to the Halifax Waterfront and a bike ride of approximately 15 km that will be suitable for all cycling abilities (novice to experienced). Bike and helmet rentals will be provided.

D-1: Mon., Sept. 23:  13:45pm
Maximum # of participants:  20


This walking tour will visit various recent projects that were completed using a ‘Complete Streets’ lens taking into consideration the mobility needs of various transportation modes, as well as the value of certain streets as ‘places’ (not just ‘links’). We will visit a recent curbless ‘shared street’ design in the urban core; new segments of protected bikeways and multi-use paths; the recent transformation of two signalized intersections into modern roundabouts; and more.

This tour will also include the opportunity to experience streets from the perspective of a person with vision loss. An ‘Orientation & Mobility Specialist’ from Vision Loss Rehabilitation Nova Scotia will assist participants in experiencing how people with different types of visual loss navigate the urban environment through the use of various tools like goggles, canes, and blindfolds.

Note: This tour will involve walking a total distance of approximately 3 km.

E-1:  Tues., Sept. 24:  8:30am
E-2:  Tues., Sept. 24: 13:45pm
Maximum # of participants:  25


A walking tour of Sawmill River including the history of the area, overview of the recent project work and future plans for the area.

The Sawmill River conveys flows from Sullivan’s Pond in Downtown Dartmouth to Dartmouth Cove / Halifax Harbour. The upstream watershed draining to Sullivan’s Pond / Sawmill River is large, consisting of approximately 4,000 acres with flow coming from Lake Charles, Mic Mac and Banook. In the 1970’s as a result of some severe storm events which resulted in significant damage to both public and private property through downtown Dartmouth, the City of Dartmouth decided to pipe the Sawmill River which was fairly standard engineering practice of the day.

In 2013 the piped system was showing signs of deterioration and was under capacity for modern design standards, therefore upgrades were recommended. It was decided to upgrade the system to be able to handle a 1 in 100-year storm event and climate change. The design also had to incorporate the regulatory requirement for fish passage within the system and it was desired to have as much open channel portions to the new system as possible.

In addition to Halifax Water, Parks and Recreation staff will be on hand to discuss the park planning project details including, how a daylighted channel interfaces with memorial park features, tree replacement values and tree species selection, stormwater easement documentation, pedestrian connectivity, and park visitor experience.

Note: This tour will include a ferry ride between downtown Halifax and Dartmouth and involve walking a total distance of approximately 3.5 km. 

F-1:  Tues., Sept. 24:  13:45pm
F-2:  Wed., Sept. 25:  8:30am
Maximum # of participants:  30


The Port of Halifax is one of the deepest and largest ice-free harbours in the world. It is strategically located about 100 kilometres from major shipping lanes to North America and Europe, making it a key part of Canada’s East Coast port system. The beautiful Halifax Seaport is also a premier destination attracting more than 1.2 million visitors each year. 

The Port of Halifax technical tour will include visits to both industrial and commercial port facilities, as well as explore the technology and data that is key to the port operations. Facilities may include:

  • Container terminals 
  • Cruise ship terminals
  • Halifax seaport
  • Halifax grain elevator
  • Break bulk piers

G-1:  Mon., Sept. 23: 13:45pm
Maximum # of participants:  30


This is a tour of various Halifax Transit services and facilities including multimodal bus and ferry facilities. The tour will highlight recent facilities as well as opportunities for future redevelopment to improve transit operations and passenger comfort and safety, including ITS components. Sites include:

  • Halifax Ferry Terminal including a ride across the Halifax Harbour
  • Alderney Ferry Terminal
  • Halifax Transit Bridge Terminal (Dartmouth)
  • Lacewood Terminal (Clayton Park)
  • Mumford Terminal (planned redevelopment)

Note: The tour will begin with a short walk to the Halifax Ferry Terminal and a ferry ride from downtown Halifax to Dartmouth. The remaining locations will be visited by transit bus. 

H-1:  Tues., Sept. 24: 8:30am
Maximum # of participants:  30


The Naval Dockyard, Halifax began as a Royal Navy base. Established in 1759, the Halifax Yard served as the headquarters for the Royal Navy's North American Station until it was closed in 1905. The station was sold to Canada in 1907 becoming Her Majesty's Canadian Dockyard, a function it still serves today as part of Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Halifax.

The Halifax Dockyard is located on the north end of Halifax Harbour. It is comprised primarily of wharfs, storage warehouses, and repair, servicing and docking facilities. As part of CFB Halifax, the site is still in use as a naval depot, for berthing and servicing naval vessels. 

The tour will include the dockyard facilities as well as naval ship(s) that may be at berth at the time of the tour.  Details of the tour are dependent on activities at the dockyard and what ships may be in port on the day of the tour.

Note: The ships are not accessible for people with mobility issues. Comfortable footwear is required and no skirts or loose clothing will be permitted.

I-1:  Wed., Sept. 25: 13:45pm
Maximum # of participants:  30


The Kelly Lake Vehicle Compliance Station is one of five permanent scale house compliance stations in the Province that is responsible for ensuring heavy commercial vehicles comply with the Weights and Dimensions Regulations. 

The tour will include an overview of the Compliance Station facility including the Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) sorting system, scale deck weighing, driver/inspection window, the inspection area and a demonstration of the inspection process. 

J-1:  Tues., Sept. 24: 8:30am
Maximum # of participants:  30