‘We’re drowning’: Construction woes continue for Victoria Ave. businesses

WATCH: Four months of construction has restaurants along Victoria Avenue feeling the burn out.

While construction season is nearing its end in parts of Regina, it seems to be getting worse on Victoria Avenue, according to Beata Kowalski, Fresh and Sweet co-owner.

“It’s unbelievably frustrating and pretty impossible to get here,” Kowalski said.

Construction for phase one of the Victoria Avenue beautification project has been ongoing for roughly four months. It includes curb and median work between Albert and McIntyre Street — right in front of Fresh and Sweet.

Kowalski says progress is slow, which makes for even slower business.

“Our numbers have decreased significantly in the past couple of weeks because I think it’s just gone on and gone on too long,” Kowalski said. “We’ve had customers have to leave because of the noise outside.”

Much of Victoria Avenue between Albert Street and Cornwall is closed off to foot traffic. Roads are blocked, crosswalks are closed and sidewalks are restricted, causing mass confusion for customers. Kowalski says recently the construction work eliminated 10 parking spots outside the restaurant.

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“We’re drowning here because we still have to bring our staff in, we still have to do all these things, but it’s almost impossible to get here.”

On Thursday, Kowalski took to Facebook to air out her frustration.

“We don’t really know what to say anymore – but this construction is killing us.”

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. The City of Regina says concrete work on the curbs and medians between Albert Street and McIntyre Street should be finished by Tuesday.

“Sidewalks will be open, the fencing will be down, people will be able to use the cross walks [and] people will be able drive on both sides of the street,” said Chris Warren, roadways and transportation director.

That will still leave paving, landscaping and street lights left for phase one of the project. But Warren says that should not have any major impact on pedestrians. Depending on the weather, the work could carry over to next year.