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Economy

BIA chair says Locke Street merchants are ‘holding up’ during reconstruction

The months-long reconstruction of Locke Street in Hamilton has reached its mid-point.
The months-long reconstruction of Locke Street in Hamilton has reached its mid-point. Ken Mann

The chair of the Locke Street Business Improvement Area (BIA) says businesses are “holding up.”

Locke Street, through the heart of the west end business and retail district, has been closed since March for a major reconstruction project and the closures will continue until November.

Despite that, Locke Street BIA chair Heidi VanderKwaak says “loyal customers, residents, clients, are still making appointments, being intentional about coming in and shopping.”

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READ MORE: Road closures in Locke Street area this weekend

VanderKwaak adds that both the Ward 1 office of Coun. Maureen Wilson and the construction crew have been “very responsive” by keeping the public up to date on the status of the project and by helping to ensure customers can access businesses along the street.

A sidewalk festival, of sorts, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m on Friday is part of its ongoing effort to make the best of things during construction.

READ MORE: Southbound Red Hill Valley Parkway reopens ahead of schedule at Barton Street, access by 11 p.m. from QEW

VanderKwaak says stores will stay open later than usual and there will be live music and other activities. Similar events are planned for every third Friday as construction continues on Locke Street.

She stresses that merchants are excited about the finished product, noting that wider sidewalks, better pedestrian crossings and bumpouts, benches, the planting of street trees and other improvements “will be great for all of our businesses.”

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