The 102nd Avenue bridge over Groat Road will close for 15 months starting July 1, leaving some people in the High Street area worried about how the construction will impact their businesses.
The existing bridge is more than 100 years old and has reached the end of its lifespan. In addition to the 15 month closure, there will also be nightly and weekend closures of Groat Road located below the bridge starting July 2.
Cynthia Zukowsky, owner of the Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes store on the corner of 102nd Avenue and 124th Street, hopes her customers still come despite the construction.
“I think it’s going to mean less traffic of course,” she said. “We have a very strong customer base here, so we are hoping they are going to find a way to get here.”
The city will be adding parking stalls along 102nd Avenue during construction, which has alleviated some business owner’s concerns.
Lauren Gillis, manager of Harlow High Street, is one of the people looking at the bright side.
“Parking is a huge issue for High Street,” Gillis said. “The fact that we are getting lots of new parking stalls in High Street… it’s going to be almost a positive in some ways.”
The city will be providing a free shuttle from west of the bridge to the east side.
The new bridge, set to open in the fall of of 2015, will have wider sidewalks, bike lanes and a public art piece created by a local Alberta artist.