Groat Road remains closed due to bridge demolition
Part of Groat Road will remain closed both Monday and Tuesday due to weather conditions and safety challenges in demolishing the 102nd Avenue bridge this weekend.
Groat Road is closed from 107th Avenue to River Valley Road, but city crews said the road should reopen at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.
However, the bridge demolition, subsequent road closures and traffic congestion have left many residents and business owners in the area frustrated.
Shonn Oborowsky, who lives on the corner of 103rd Avenue and 125th Street, says people are trying to use 125th Street as a shortcut to avoid traffic. However, he is concerned as the road turns into a one-way street.
Oborowsky put a coffin on his front lawn, beside a giant sign that says “Slow Down” as a reminder for the drivers speeding through his neighbourhood.
“If people don’t slow down, someone’s going to get hit,” said Oborowsky. “This place is a gong show. We have 20 times the amount of traffic — people going down the one way, the wrong way, at least 50 times a day.”
Leah Lee has lived in the area of 104th Avenue for seven years. She has three young boys and is concerned for their safety. She put up signs on the sidewalk asking drivers to slow down.
“It’s unsafe,” Lee said.
Mayor Don Iveson said the city will keep an eye on the situation to see if further action is needed.
"If there are chronic problems with short-cutting or speeding inside the nearby neighbourhoods, then certainly we'll monitor that," he said.
Parking ban causing problems
Meanwhile, some business owners are concerned about the lack of parking options in the High Street area.
Sarah Proudlock, owner of “The Tea Girl” on Stony Plain Road, said businesses weren’t told in advance about parking changes,
“We were told they weren’t changing our parking on Stony Plain Road because it’s always been reduced 7 to 9 [a.m.],” said Proudlock. Now, because of the increased traffic, she says the city has introduced an additional parking ban between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m.
“We might as well shut down if they take our parking,” said Proudlock. “There’s a whole bunch of businesses that use the street parking, our customers are in and out all day, we’re open 12 hours a day — we need the parking.”
The 102nd Avenue bridge was scheduled to be taken down this weekend, but Friday night’s storm as well as safety issues have left the bridge still partially standing. Steel beams and sheets of metal remain on the scene.
"We had a lightning strike Friday night," said Matt Boiko, general supervisor with the city of Edmonton. "With the bridge, it didn't fall the way that we wanted it to so now, that's what we're dealing with."
Work is currently underway, as construction crews use excavators and backhoes to pull parts of the bridge apart.