Repair timeline unclear for Cherry Street bridge: ‘It’s a huge inconvenience’

WATCH: The Cherry Street lift bridge has been stuck in the 'lift' position for a week now and businesses in the area say they are feeling the effect on their bottom line. Albert Delitala reports.

One week after the Cherry Street lift bridge got stuck in the vertical position, its timeline for repair remains uncertain — as one business claims a significant drop in revenue as a result of the disruption.

The bridge in Toronto’s Lower Donlands has been impassable since Aug. 1 when, according to the city, mechanical and electrical failure caused it to jam at its present position.

READ MORE: Frustration mounting over malfunctioning Cherry Street lift bridge

A week into the closure, residents and people who work in the area continue to adjust.

“We kind of had to find our own way around to get onto the pier,” said Ian Holland, who was biking with a friend.

“One of the passersby gave us instructions [on] where to go and we were like, ‘Are we stuck? Do we need to bike down the Gardiner? Because I think that’s illegal.'”

Another cyclist, Catherine Strus, said her riding time has tripled since the bridge jammed.

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“It means I have to leave earlier and plan my time more wisely,” Strus said. “It’s a huge inconvenience.”

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For Sabrina Saudin, who drives to the area from Mississauga, the closure has meant more available parking spots, but she still wants to see the bridge open.

“For me it’s fine, but I know it’s affecting a lot of people, so I’ll take parking somewhere else if it means people can enjoy [Cherry Beach],” Saudin said.

Lost business

The malfunctioning bridge has meant a drop in sales of between 40 and 50 per cent at The Keating Channel Pub & Grill, according to its owner, Shakir Omar.

“They can’t risk an hour and a half for lunch,” Omar said of his customers, who he said face unreasonable travel times to reach his restaurant.

READ MORE: New bomb-sniffing dogs to patrol Toronto’s Union Station, GO Transit

He told Global News the summer months are critical for his business, and says he has had to reduce hours for his staff.

“I’ve had to cut their hours in half — and it was with a heavy heart I had to do it — because I mean our sales just don’t support it at this point,” Omar said.

Transit troubles

People who work in the area have said riding transit has been especially challenging, with confusing detours and far drop-off points.

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Global News contacted the Toronto Transit Commission by phone and email but did not receive a response in time for publication.

The city said it is working with PortsToronto on a plan to lower the bridge with repairs to follow.

WATCH: (Oct. 28, 2016) Police remove submerged car and driver from Lake Ontario below Cherry Street bridge

Police remove submerged car and driver from Lake Ontario below Cherry Street bridge
Police remove submerged car and driver from Lake Ontario below Cherry Street bridge
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