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Will Wayne Anstey, city's top staffer, be fired for this? 

Washmill underpass budget bungling throws City Hall into chaos.

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A major scandal is rocking Halifax City Hall. Some councillors want to fire Wayne Anstey, the city’s head bureaucrat. Councillors Gloria McCluskey and Mary Wile had a public screaming match Saturday at what was supposed to a staid and celebratory grand opening of the Canada Games Centre. Most important, council is left dealing with a staggering huge budget hole---$8 million added to an already huge $13 million---caused by a single bridge project that pits suburban development against downtown’s needs.

At issue is a mundanely titled project called the Washmill Lake Court underpass, Washmill Lake Court being what’s now a two-lane cul-de-sac between the Empire Imax Theatre and Old Navy in the Bayers Lake Industrial Park. The idea was to widen the roadway to four lanes and extend it under Highway 102; over on the other side it would hook up with a new section of Regency Park Drive and extend onto Main Avenue. Basically, the new underpass would connect the suburban apartment blocks of Clayton Park to the suburban big box paradise of BLIP.

The Washmill underpass is a economic stimulus project from 2009. (I’ll spare you the long and sordid political history of how this particular project rose to the top of the city’s economic stimulus list, but if you’re interested, I explained this sad tale in November, 2009, here.) What followed was a textbook example of How to fuck up a construction project and bankrupt the city.

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