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Broadway Avenue businesses hope to bounce back as area construction wraps

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon’s Broadway district is back to business as normal' Saskatoon’s Broadway district is back to business as normal
WATCH ABOVE: Saskatoon’s Broadway area is back to business as normal after a summer of construction, but not without some big pain felt by local businesses who say their bottom line has suffered. Meaghan Craig reports – Nov 2, 2016

After months of reduced lanes, street closures, disrupted traffic flows and noise in a Saskatoon neighbourhood, one of the most massive road construction projects in recent memory is now complete.

Motorists will no longer have to re-route their commute along Broadway Avenue and parking for those wanting to window shop in the area has returned to normal.

READ MORE: Last span of old Traffic Bridge coming down in November

City crews replaced more than 1,600 metres of water main, resurfaced close to nine kilometres of road and upgraded 100 water service connections.

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“We started on the Broadway project in May at the beginning of the construction season and even with a few weeks of early snow, we were able to finish in with days of the targeted completion date,” Celene Anger, director of construction and design with the city, said.

“Throughout this project we kept in close contact with businesses and residents working with them to make sure the phasing of the project worked to their advantage.”

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Click to play video: 'Fringe Festival a welcome sight after months of construction' Fringe Festival a welcome sight after months of construction
Fringe Festival a welcome sight after months of construction – Jul 19, 2016

City officials say there was also an extensive campaign to ensure the public knew Broadway was open for business.

“There were some business owners that wouldn’t have agreed with that,” Kayla Kobiela, a flavour specialist at Oliv Tasting Room, said.

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“Just going into some of the restaurants, different businesses, you know people said their rushes were gone.”

Compared to years previous, business at the Oliv Tasting Room was down 50 per cent this summer, according to Kobiela.

READ MORE: Improvements to major Saskatoon intersection delayed until 2017

Broadway business owners said they are out tens of thousands of dollars and now all they can hope for is foot traffic this Christmas.

“I’m really excited that it’s finally wrapping up because that means that the Broadway clientele can finally walk around Broadway again, visit all of their shops, you know parking was really an inconvenience so I’m looking forward to it finally being revitalized,” Kobeila said.

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The city says going forward it plans to better prepare affected areas of the potential impacts during major roadway construction projects.

“You don’t really understand it until you live through it sometimes,” Anger said.

Broadway Avenue still has a little bit of construction left to go but nothing that can’t wait until next spring. When crews will return to the area to tackle some touch-up work, landscaping, sidewalk panels and to pave a small section roadway at the top of the bridge.

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