Crane collapse repairs continue to inconvenience businesses and commuters
HALIFAX -- Business has returned to normal on Halifax's South Park Street after Hurricane Dorian saw the street closed for nearly two months in the fall.
"That was tough for us, and of course the stores next to us that were closed completely,” Twiggz manager, Karla Gullander. “We were fortunate enough to re-open, but people were under the impression we were closed, and of course, one business attracts people to another one.”
While the street finally reopened in November, businesses are now facing another detour as work continues to repair the building on which the crane collapsed.
"The repairs that we are doing are causing some encroachment onto the street,” says Halifax Regional Municipality spokesperson, Maggie-Jane Spray. “So, there are some transit changes, metered parking that's being removed, as well as a shared path opened for bikers and pedestrians."
While all businesses are still accessible from the sidewalk, the loss of parking and visibility from nearby Spring Garden Road is a concern.
"It's unfortunate for the local businesses,” says shopper, Anna MacLeod. “I know they struggled when this street was closed, and this seems so soon afterward – it's a shame."
"We're not really sure, how long it's going to be going on for,” says Gullander. “Limited access, or a change in access, is always a bit of a challenge."
The closure also affects three busy bus routes, which will have to detour to nearby Cathedral Lane.
"I didn't know it was going here,” says one bus user. “I thought we were going straight, but we turned right and stopped at this place – so it's a bit confusing.”
"I just missed my bus,” says another bus user. “I'll be half-an-hour late because of this."
Repair efforts have also closed a section of a protected bike lane.
When people are route planning, and they come along here, there's no other option for them,” says Halifax Cycling Coalition executive director, Meghan Doucette. “They have to dismount, depending on how comfortable they are. If they are only comfortable biking in a protected bike lane, now they can't continue their journey."
Meanwhile, the city says repair work is expected to be completed sometime in the summer.