Côte-des-Neiges merchants upset over repeated construction work

Some merchants on Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges say back-to-back construction projects on the street are killing business.

Same section of Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges has been ripped up by workers twice in last few months

For the second time in a few months, roadwork is taking place at the corner of Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges and Swail Ave. (Tanya Birkbeck/CBC)

Some merchants on Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges say back-to-back construction projects on the street are killing business, and they blame the city not properly coordinating the roadwork.

During the summer, Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges was blocked off near the corner of Swail Avenue so that the roads and sidewalks could be fixed.

"Basically, it killed our business the whole summer,"  said Houssam Dib, co-owner of a family-run restaurant called Kabab.

"They finished at the beginning of September and just last week, they came back,"

"Since they started the construction, it’s slow,” says Houssam Dib, co-owner of a family-run restaurant Kabab. (Tanya Birkbeck/CBC)
This week, workers ripped up the street again, this time to carry out electrical work.

"The construction guy came in and told me... that the city should have done it during the summer...but [the company] was busy and didn't have time in the summer," Dib said.

The City of Montreal told CBC News that the Commission des Services électriques de Montréal (CSEM) was not available until the fall because it was working on other projects over the course of the summer.

"We mutually agreed to proceed with the paving to avoid penalizing the merchants and residents. The presence of many institutions, including a university, in the area was also taken into account in the decision to restore the area for back-to-school time in September," said city spokesman Philippe Sabourin.

"It was therefore understood that the CSEM would conduct its work on Thanksgiving."

Back to back work unavoidable, city says

Dib said all of the work should have been coordinated to take place at the same time, rather than setting up a construction zone twice. He said his bottom line is taking a major hit.

"We're like in a prison. There's barriers all over, trucks, bulldozers. So it's affecting me...Since they started the construction, it's slow."

The city maintained that in this case, the back-to-back construction was inevitable.

"We coordinate work with the calendars of all the different contractors. In this case, we could not have reduced the six-week gap between the projects," Sabourin said.

"Getting the sidewalks and roads finished was preferable to having the work on a construction site be interrupted for six weeks."

The $4-million project at the corner of Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges and Swail Avenue includes building and repaving the sidewalk and street, as well as upgrading and installing traffic lights.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Account Holder

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?