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17 Avenue SW construction focus of info sessions; businesses worried ahead of Flames playoffs

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WATCH: NHL playoffs begin next week, and so does road construction on 17 Avenue. As Gary Bobrovitz reports, some businesses worry they’ll lose even if the Flames win – Apr 5, 2017

The City of Calgary is hosting several information sessions this week to discuss construction planned for 17 Avenue S.W. but business owners along the Red Mile are already voicing concern.

The Calgary Flames playoff hockey run starts Wednesday, April 12 and construction along part of 17 Avenue begins a few days later on Monday, April 17.

Some preliminary work is already underway. Full road closures on each block are necessary during the project, according to the city.

Some businesses claim the disruption will damage their bottom line at a time when they should be scoring big bucks.

“That will hurt the whole 17 Avenue…and it will hurt your business, too,” said Harminder Singh, owner of A Perfect Pizza at 1705 McLeod Trail S.E.

His shop will be among the first to experience the construction beginning at the far east end of the Red Mile, closest to the Saddledome.

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Bushido Tattoo, located at 218 17 Ave S.E., is warning its customers to be aware of the possible inconveniences.

“We are just contacting our customers a week before and letting them know that there will be construction and delays and telling them to prepare for it, so they are not late for their appointment or confused,” Bushido tattoo artist Erin Hastings said.

Construction between Macleod Trail S.E. and 14 Street S.W. will take place over the next three to four years.

According to the city, the work includes improvements to the sidewalks, crosswalks, new lighting features, a new road design, and upgrades to underground utilities for current and future development.

17 Avenue SW construction focus of info sessions; businesses worried ahead of Flames playoffs - image

“The most important thing that we want to make sure everyone knows is that pedestrians can still access their businesses that they like to dine and shop at,” project manager Logan Tolsma told Global News.

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“At the end of this year we’ll be taking all of our lessons learned and going back to meet with the businesses that we’ve been working with [to] re-evaluate and make sure we know what worked and what didn’t.”

The total cost of the project is pegged at $44 million.

The information sessions will be held at the ATB Financial in the 1100 block of 17 Avenue S.W. from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on April 5, 7 and 8.

For more information about what to expect during construction and the construction schedule, you can visit Calgary.ca/17avenue.

With files from Doug Vaessen 

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