Roadwork bites into business: bookstore owner

Road construction is causing major problems for a strip mall in southwest Calgary.
One merchant in Britannia Plaza in southwest Calgary is seeing a sharp decrease in business he believes is attributable to nearby road construction. ((Meghan Grant/CBC))

Road construction is believed to be causing major problems for a strip mall in southwest Calgary.

The main entrance to Britannia Plaza off Elbow Drive has been blocked off for the past two months.

Business owners like Michael Hare, who runs Owl's Nest Bookstore, are getting nervous.

Hare said the timing couldn't be worse for businesses in the mall off 49th Avenue.

"At this time of year, it's hard to take. Most of our sales are done from basically mid-October to Dec. 24. We do about 40 per cent of our yearly business during that time," said Hare.

Business is down about 20 per cent since construction began in October, Hare said.

"Access to the plaza is there, it's not that hard. I think people just get impatient waiting in traffic," he said.

Area resident Dean Paddock said he finds the traffic detour a hassle.

"It's quite difficult, I think. A few times I've gone somewhere else just because it's more difficult to do a full roundabout [into the mall], and it takes a little bit longer to get out, too," said Paddock.

Jean Lewis said she feels the same but understands the circumstances.

"It's a bit of an aggravation, but I guess repairs are necessary [in order] to maintain," she said.

Repaving the road and sidewalk was supposed to have been finished by Dec. 3, but because of the recent cold snap and snowfall the work isn't expected to be finished until mid-month.