Business owner fed up with St. Margaret’s Bay Road construction delays
Published Monday, November 6, 2017 9:11PM AST
Nick Giannopoulos has owned a restaurant on St. Margaret's Bay Road for 18 years. But lately, he's had a lot more than pizza on his mind.
"The road is blocked, nobody could come in and you’re losing business,” Giannopoulos says. “Just to cut my losses I calculated, I had to close for two months."
Construction has shut down a busy part of the St. Margaret's Bay Road since mid-July. The project was originally supposed to be complete by Oct. 9, but it was announced last month it was behind schedule and wouldn't be finished until the end of November.
"I'm suffering in the traffic jams because St. Margaret's Bay Road isn't open, so I'm leaving an extra hour to get anywhere I want to get to,” says Mary Jane Copps, who lives on the road.
Crews were supposed to be working seven days a week, but area councillor Shawn Cleary says that wasn't the case this past weekend.
"My understanding is that Saturday there were some workers there for a number of hours getting some work done, surveying, that sort of thing, but on Sunday there was no work happening at all," Cleary says.
Halifax Regional Municipality spokesperson Nick Ritcey says the contractor decided to give the workers a rest on Sunday.
“They've been working seven days a week for the past couple months,” he says. “At the end of the day, that's the contractor’s decision.”
The city's construction contract includes a clause that allows them to fine the contractor up to $5,000 per day for any delays.
"You can't really fine someone or apply any penalties until you get to the end of the project so you know how many days over you actually are, so there won't be a full and final discussion until the end of the work," says Cleary.
Giannopoloulos would like to see the company fined and the money distributed among those who were most affected.
"You calculate 60 days late by five, it's $300,000,” he says. “We’ll cut it and divide it accordingly to the people, to the businesses.”
The city now says they expect crews will be working seven days a week until the project is done.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Allan April.