Intersection at 8th St. and 17th Ave. S.W. shut down as construction project continues

The intersection at Eighth Street and 17th Avenue S.W. is closed, which is scheduled to last from Oct. 6 to 15.

Closure is scheduled to last from Oct. 6 to 15 as part of a $44M makeover

Traffic is re-routed along 17th Avenue S.W. as part of an ongoing construction project. The intersection at Eighth Street and 17th Avenue S.W. is closed until Oct. 15. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

A major intersection along 17th Avenue S.W. will be shut down for the next two weeks as crews complete utility improvements on the busy stretch of road.

The intersection at Eighth Street S.W. is closed, which is scheduled to last from Oct. 6 to 15.

"This is one of those pieces where we recognize that is is definitely an inconvenience to people who are driving through the area or who live in the area so we are prioritizing it as something we want to get done as quickly as possible," said city spokesman Quinn Eastlick.

Snow last week hampered crews somewhat, said Eastlick, which could push the project back by a few days.

Quinn Eastlick says recent snow has slowed construction along 17th Avenue S.W. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

"It's mainly the moisture is an issue for big parts of the road work we have to do," he said. "So right now it's about getting that snow out, getting that area dry so we can move on with the road work."

The work is part of a $44 million upgrade of the corridor running from Macleod Trail S.E. to 14 Street S.W., where water and sewer lines — some which are 100 years old — are being replaced along with pedestrian improvements like widened sidewalks and updated lighting.

Sidewalks remains open on both sides of the street but traffic is being detoured at College Lane and Ninth Street S.W.

Fourteenth and 15th Avenues have also been made westbound and eastbound one-way routes to better move traffic.

Each block-long section of the project takes about six to eight weeks to complete, said Eastlick.

The noise and lack of access is an issue for area businesses, said Riley Fournier, a barista and trainer at Analog Coffee on the northeast corner of Eighth Street and 17th Avenue S.W.

Barista Riley Fournier figures business has been down about 10 per cent since construction began outside Analog Coffee last month. (Anis Heydari/CBC)

Fournier estimates they've seen about a 10 per cent drop in business since the work began out front last month.

"It's mainly the people who are stop and go, they just want to grab a quick coffee and get out of here, head off to work," he said. "I find a lot of our loyal customers come, sit, stay for a coffee and do a little bit of work. They're still coming every day because they're willing to walk the extra block … but most of our business is stop and go, as most coffee shops are."

But Fournier says while he doesn't necessarily like it, he understands the need for the work.

"It's pretty rough, a lot of us bike on [17th Avenue] and it's sketchy going down a few of those blocks," he said. "Lots of potholes and just rough roads, so I think it's necessary."

Once this stretch of road is complete, work will stop for the winter months, then resume in the spring.

The underground and road work portion of the entire project is scheduled to done by the end of 2019 and sidewalk improvements expected to be done by early 2020.

With files from Terri Trembath and Anis Heydari