VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Broadway Subway Project is continuing construction in Vancouver, and it’s caused major traffic changes around East Broadway and Main Street.
The changes, brought in this week, include restrictions to turning, lane closures, and challenges for nearby businesses that are worried implications could last all summer.
“It’s just another hurdle that we have to go over,” said Ron MacGillivray, the owner of Fable Diner on East Broadway.
“At this point, with what restaurants have been through, and what we’ve been through in this location for the last year and a half, It’s just another hurdle.”
Fable Diner finds itself right in the thick of all the construction at the busy intersection. During the day, when there’s traffic, it has been more of a struggle to get around.
He says it’s already having an impact.
“It’s tough for deliveries to come in, sometimes our suppliers can’t make it in to drop off food,” he told CityNews. “The last little bit, people can’t find parking to come into the restaurant. We just reopened up last week, and with the changes that are going on it’s tough to get people to come in.”
The Broadway Subway Project will provide SkyTrain service to a heavily-used Vancouver thoroughfare, and will eventually connect UBC to the rest of the SkyTrain system.
This part of construction around East Broadway and Main Street has to do with sewer relocation and also the installation of elevated traffic decks so construction can continue underground.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says in a statement that traffic deck installation will be finished in the fall, and that’s the next time this stretch of Broadway will have four lanes again.
MacGillivray says while it’s tough to deal with, he has some confidence in the subway project management, and feels the project will help the city in the end.
“They’re good at communicating and letting us know what is happening, and they kind of feel the pain as much as they can,” he said.
A couple of blocks north, East 8th Avenue is also closed off between Quebec and Main streets, which is exactly where Melo Patisserie is. The owner says they’ve seen 20 per cent fewer customers during the construction, and you can see why.
The business is completely obscured by office portables and fencing.
This is not the first time transit construction has created headaches in Vancouver.
When the Canada Line was being built in the Cambie corridor a decade ago, dozens of businesses closed and many filed lawsuits for lost profits and other hardships during the construction.
Meanwhile, the Broadway Subway Project says its still on schedule to open in 2025.
“We just kind of have to grin and bear it and look at it long term. Looking back at what happened when they did the Cambie corridor, I think they learned from that,” MacGillivray said. “We just have to keep plugging away and hopefully fill tables in here.”