West Island business owners decry roadwork, now extended until Aug. 31

Closures and detours on one of the West Island’s main arteries has frustrated business owners for months, and the roadwork has now been extended until the end of August.

Chenoy's, Steve's Car Care lament decision to extend roadwork on St-Jean Blvd. until end of August

Chenoy’s waiter Joseph Efram says the dining room has been empty during the roadwork. (CBC)

Closures and detours on one of the West Island's main arteries have frustrated business owners for months — and now, the roadwork has been extended until the end of August.

The highly commercial stretch of St-Jean Boulevard in Dollard-des-Ormeaux between Shakespeare Street and Labrosse Avenue, just north of Fairview shopping mall, has been under construction since June 11.

The $3-million project was supposed to be completed by mid-August, but the work has been extended until Aug. 31 because a new gas line needs to be installed.

All the southbound lanes are closed, leaving just three lanes open for motorists travelling in both directions.

The city said on its Facebook page that the contractor would incur penalties for every day it's late in delivering the finished product, as stipulated in its contract.

Businesses are hurting, employees say

The lane closures have created detours some drivers find confusing.

"Some customers, they call from the street: 'How do I get in?'" said Joseph Efram, a waiter at the longstanding deli Chenoy's. 

He said the restaurant was told by the city that they would provide helpful signage during the construction period, but that didn't happen.

"The only sign for Chenoy's is at the entrance. Once you get to the entrance, you don't need signs, my friend," Efram said.

Construction on St-Jean Boulevard is now expected to wrap up August 31. (Navneet Pall/CBC)

He said business has been noticeably slower — on Tuesday afternoon, Efram said there would normally be four people working in the dining room but instead there were two.

"This is lunch time, nothing, zero. The cooks are slacking. They have nothing to do," he said.

At Steve's Car Care, the feeling was the same.

"August is a big month for us, so to lose now the entire month of August is very devastating," general manager William Gil said.

With files from CBC's Matt D'Amours