'Completely closed off': Road detours hurting Allendale businesses

Emergency road work on Allendale Road in south Edmonton is causing grief for a restaurant supply business that's now accessible only through a series of detours.

Emergency road work that could take 2 months blocks access to business

A void discovered under Allendale Road forced Epcor to close several roads over the weekend. (CBC)

Emergency road work on Allendale Road in south Edmonton is causing grief for businesses that are now accessible only through a series of detours.

"If you're a customer that basically drives up and you see all of these big barricades and there's two guys standing there, and it says road closed — what are you going to do?" said Duane Langille, owner of Alberta Food Equipment.

The store is tucked behind the Petro-Canada on 104th Street and Allendale Road. It's typically accessible by the eastbound lane of Allendale Road. A stretch of that road is was completely shut down last week, after a large "void" was discovered under the road.

Langille said he initially noticed some construction work and lane closures last week, but was then alerted that there was an "emergency."

"The next thing you know, we were completely closed off. You couldn't get into our business."

The food equipment store is now accessible by turning onto 61st Avenue, crossing the parking lot of another business, going through a construction barricade and then following the directions of a flag person posted at the site.
Alberta Food Equipment is located just south of the double red lines, showing the total closure of a stretch of Allendale Road. (Epcor)

"We got people calling saying, 'Are you closed? How do you get in? We were there and you can't get in.' "

Epcor is managing the work on the void, and said it could take three months to fix the problem.

Spokesman Tim le Riche said even with significant closures, there are flag people who can direct traffic to businesses like Alberta Food Equipment.

An analysis shows the void starts about 16 metres under the road, and extends seven metres down to the 23-metre mark under the road, Epcor said in a statement. The size of the void is estimated at about 700 cubic metres, the equivalent of about 120 concrete truck loads.

Epcor said it anticipates removing the Calgary Trail lane closures once the void has been filled, likely next week. One lane of eastbound Allendale Road is expected to be opened the week starting Aug. 27.

Langille said the people doing the flag work change every day, and he's having to give them instructions on how to get a delivery truck to his site.

Some days, his own staff have had a hard time accessing the business, he said.
Multiple detours and road closures are affecting businesses around Allendale Road and Calgary Trail. (CBC)

Langille has another meeting with Epcor staff about road closures scheduled for Thursday morning.

"I have people there that are paid on commission, so when the people don't walk in the door and buy stuff, they're not getting paid the same.  

"The bottom line is we're going to lose money ... but it's out of our control."

Daniel Cameron, general manager of Midas in Edmonton, has one location near the road closures.

"I realize things have to be done, but I think there could have been better communication. The only thing that we got when this first happened was a leaflet-sized paper that (said) it would be down for six days. Now it's up to six weeks," he said.

"We have to reach out to them, then it's, "Wait. Hang on.' And then I get passed to someone else."