The bombs are presumed to be left over from a July 1945 magazine explosion, which sent shells soaring into the sky, scattering them across the area. Seven decades later, unexploded bombs are often found.
Maj. Ron Folkins, commander of the Canadian Forces ammunition depot in nearby Bedford, says they get three to four calls a year about unexploded bombs.
“The furthest one I ever heard of being found was when they put in the foundation for Mic Mac Mall," about nine kilometres away, Folkins said.
They're dealt with "very carefully."
"Unearth them, examine them, classify them, determine if they should be moved or whether they are so dangerous they have to be blown in place,” Folkins said.
Government seeks help
But, this time, the federal government is asking for help disposing of the three bombs at the Burnside industrial park — and any others that might turn up.
The new 36-bed halfway house would be far from any homes, but inside a federally owned buffer zone next to the Bedford ammunition depot.
This week the government issued a tender for site preparation, setting aside up to $3 million for land clearing, the construction of a concrete pad and to deal with any unexploded ordnance.
The tender calls for screening and clearance of any unexploded devices. Potential contractors have to ensure nearby buildings will be protected during demolition.
The cleanup has caught the attention of Coun. Darren Fisher.
“Burnside is encroaching very, very close to [Department of National Defence] land so I would suggest that in the future, if it’s perfunctory right now for the military to clear all their lands of potential ordnance, we will likely in the future have to do the same on any areas that are very, very close,” said the Dartmouth city councillor.
Corrections Canada says it still likes the location.
Job opportunities at the many nearby businesses will help residents of the halfway house "successfully reintegrate into the community as law-abiding citizens," according to a spokesperson.
The department says its facility will be completed by early 2016.