Highway 103 reopens, internet service disrupted in Halifax region after vehicle hits lines

Highway 103 in Halifax has reopened after it was closed for several hours Friday afternoon to accommodate emergency repairs of some telecommunications lines that were damaged by a dump truck, leaving thousands without internet.

Exit 2B to Exit 3 was closed, but reopened around 4 p.m. local time, according to the Department of Public Works.

Jill Laing, a spokesperson with Eastlink, said in an email the truck tore down several lines near the Bayers Lake business park, causing extensive damage to Eastlink's network. The lines needed to be reinstalled above the highway, she said.

Laing said the outage was affecting customers in the western part of Halifax and the St. Margarets Bay area.

At its peak, about 7,000 Eastlink customers were without service, but many came back online as repairs were made, she said.

Crews began working on the outage early Friday morning.

"These are significant repairs that require co-ordinated effort with power and other partners and could take all day to complete, if not longer," the statement said.

In an update posted on X, Eastlink said it hoped to complete repairs by Friday night.

City Wide Communication was also affected by the outage. Company president David Pothier said thousands of customers were without internet Friday.

He said most had their internet restored after their connections were rerouted through other service providers, but some people in Clayton Park, Bedford and on the South Shore remained affected.

Pothier said he was told the dump truck failed to lower its bucket when getting on the highway late Thursday evening, causing significant damage to lines overhead.

Repairs to telecommunications lines are underway near Highway 103 Friday afternoon.
Repairs to telecommunications lines were underway near Highway 103 Friday afternoon. (David Laughlin/CBC)

He said repairs were complicated by the fact that each telecommunications has a crew and the damage was spread across about 10 lanes of traffic on Highway 103 and various off-ramps.

"That in itself is a major logistical nightmare. They've got to string cable back up across the highway and then they've got to do what's called splicing, which is to basically connect all ... the new cable with the old, and those are huge cables," said Pothier.

"So once they get that done, they've got a lot of work to do just to basically get everything connected back up."

Pothier said City Wide Communications was working as hard as possible to help customers. In an update at 6:30 p.m. AT on Facebook, the company said while some customers may see service returned as fibres are reconnected, full restoration would probably take into the early morning on Saturday.

Purple Cow also acknowledged the outage on their website, saying that service had been impacted around the province and crews were working to repair the issue. In an update at 6:05 p.m. AT, the company said its team was still at the site working on repairs.