VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – More than a dozen businesses along Commercial Drive are suing FortisBC.
The suit claims some of the shops lost up to 50 per cent of their business and had to deal with a lot of noise as the utility company replaced a natural gas line in the neighbourhood. E. 1st Ave. was closed between Nanaimo St. and Clark Dr. for the majority of the summer in 2018.
The 15 businesses say Fortis failed to follow through on promises to reimburse companies after shutting down the road for ten weeks.
Side streets were also designated for “local traffic” only, with the aim of avoiding congestion along roads that aren’t designed to handle large volumes of traffic.
Fortis claims it did work with the businesses to help them, but has not acknowledged if it promised compensation.
In a statement to NEWS 1130, the utility says it can’t speak to particulars in this case as it is before the courts.
“However, I can share our general approach with businesses, which focuses on proactively supporting many establishments along our project’s route with social media promotion, community events, and signage,”Corporate Communications Advisor for Major Projects at Fortis, Alex Munro, says.
“This is a necessary gas line upgrade that serves more than 210,000 homes and businesses. When completing these upgrades, we have to balance impacts to community with our responsibilities to our customers and regulators.”
-With files from Marcella Bernardo and Denise Wong.