City addresses Calgary business concerns regarding Green Line LRT construction

Green Line open house at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks. Carolyn Kury de Castillo/Global News

Minas Brazilian Steakhouse sits right where the Green Line LRT will be built.  The Second Avenue station will be underground but the restaurant’s owner worries the effects of construction will be felt above.

“For the restaurant, any construction is going to affect us,” Carolina Lopez said. “Above ground or underground because there are going to be machines and road closures and there’s going to be signage indicating there is construction way ahead.”

Lopez attended a Green Line open house on Saturday to get more answers about how the city will mitigate construction disruption.

Construction is expected to start in 2020.   Councillor Druh Farrell said council needs to learn from Calgary’s own mistakes when it comes to how infrastructure projects can harm local businesses.

She said it is important that access is maintained and that the project is done in small stages with input from the community.

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“It’s something that we haven’t done well in the past,” Farrell said.

“I think we can take some of the good and bad examples from the past and learn from them. But especially learning from other cities. There was a class action lawsuit against the Vancouver because of the business disruption when they put in the Canada line. So let’s not do what Vancouver did. Let’s do better,” she said.

Part of doing better will be along Centre Street where improvements will be made to the busy road as it is rebuilt during the Green Line construction.

“Centre Street has potential to be a beautiful street,” Farrell said  “We have eroded that feeling over many years. Right now it’s a very hostile place to walk.”

“When we rebuild it let’s build it right. Let’s enhance the public realm and the pedestrian realm and tree line the streets.”

The city is looking for public input on the four underground stations that will be part of the downtown section of the Green Line.  The four-kilometre underground portion runs from Crescent Heights to 12 Avenue southeast under several homes in Crescent Heights and beneath the Bow River.

So far, businesses are pleased with being included in a city initiative that starts this spring which will focus on their concerns.

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“We will definitely be involved because it’s better when all business owners are together analyzing what our concerns and our opinions are,” Lopez said.

The first stage of  Green Line construction starts in 2020 and finishes in 2026.


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