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FortisBC won't financially compensate businesses as construction expands along Lougheed Highway

FILE: A map provided by the City of Vancouver and FortisBC, showing partial and full road closures due to a FortisBC project happening this summer (Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

FortisBC says it is helping local businesses impacted by construction with advertising

Utility says they do not give direct financial help to businesses

Parts of Lougheed Hwy will be closed from August to the end of October

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Lane closures are expanding along the Lougheed Highway near Brentwood Mall in Burnaby as FortisBC continues upgrading underground gas lines.

While some businesses along the route say they are taking a financial hit, as some parts of the road have been closed since August, the utility has been offering to help soften the blow.

Trevor Wales with FortisBC says they have been offering promotion and advertising as well as buying and distributing gift cards from the affected shops, but they won’t be offering any direct financial help any time soon.

RELATED: Restaurant owner optimistic ahead of potential class action lawsuit against FortisBC

“We understand the concerns that businesses have, and we want to ensure that we can support their smooth operations as best as possible,” he said.

When asked why FortisBC will not help the businesses directly, Wales said “we are working with those businesses to figure out the best way to support them.”

He said the utility company acknowledges that the road upgrades has been difficult for some businesses in the area.

“We understand the inconvenience that construction can result in, and we’re working quite closely with local community to address those concerns that come up,” he said.

RELATED: East 1st avenue reopens after months-long closure for gas line work

Fortis BC has been installing a new gas line along Lougheed Highway between Madison and Delta Avenues, and now they are expanding east along the highway. Construction expanded to include the portion of the road from Springer to Holdom Avenues on Tuesday night, and is expected to continue into late October.

A portion of East 1st Avenue in Vancouver from Nanaimo to Clark was also closed for the majority of the summer.