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Calgary’s 17 Avenue S.W. construction set to wrap up by mid-September

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WATCH: Construction along 17 Avenue S.W. is set to be done for the year come mid-September. As Josh Ritchie reports, the city also has plans to give businesses a break from the project for the summer of 2020. – Aug 28, 2019

“Street closed” signs along 17 Avenue S.W. in Calgary are expected to be picked up by mid-September.

Road work for the multi-year project is slated to be completed within the next month, with minor side work expected to be done by early October.

READ MORE: Construction starts again on Calgary’s 17 Avenue

That’s not the only exciting news for businesses down the stretch of 17 Avenue: the City of Calgary has announced plans to halt construction altogether for summer 2020.

“The plan always was to defer our sidewalk replacement to 2020 but after consultation with some businesses and the community, we’ve decided to defer that to 2021,” said Quinn Eastlick, a transportation spokesperson for the city, on Wednesday. “It gives us a bit more time to plan for that work but also gives everybody a full year without construction down on the avenue.”

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The construction has impacted vehicle and pedestrian traffic in the area, which has added to the economic strain that many businesses are under.

“It’s been a hit on us for sure,” said Derek Lentz, assistant general manager of Jamesons Pub. “We’ve definitely noticed a lot less foot traffic, a lot less driving because there’s nowhere to park down here. Our sales have dropped a little bit.”

READ MORE: Calgary’s 17 Avenue S.W. opens after months of construction

The closures have required these businesses to try and find ways to offset their losses.

“We’ve been running a lot of promotions and stuff like that. We’ve kind of had to over the summer,” Lentz said. “Some construction promotions we’ve been doing as well as a Labour Day party — we’re having to kind of celebrate the construction being close to done.”

The announcement of halted construction will allow businesses to play catch up when summer 2020 hits.

“I think 17th Avenue really needed revitalization, so I think that it’s going to be really good moving forward once it’s all done, and yeah, we’ll see you in 2020,” Lentz said.

The $52-million project will be put to rest come early October. Then, beginning in 2021, crews will finish the project with work on sidewalk replacement as well as the addition of new trees and light posts in the area.

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