News / Edmonton

Edmonton businesses hurt by 102 Ave. bridge delay petition city for help

'I don’t think you would see council support that ... there have just been too many examples'

Businesses near the still-unopened 102 Avenue bridge say their bottom line has been affected and they're now asking the city for financial help.

Ryan Tumilty/Metro

Businesses near the still-unopened 102 Avenue bridge say their bottom line has been affected and they're now asking the city for financial help.

Business that have been battered by the buckled 102 Avenue bridge are petitioning the city for financial help.

Allison MacLean, owner of the Carbon Environmental Boutique, created a Change.org petition last week looking for help from the city.

She said the 102 Avenue bridge closure has seen business drop between 10 and 30 per cent.

“We’re really ready for it to be open,” she said. “What we’re dealing with is reduced driveby and foot traffic.”

MacLean said all businesses along 102 Avenue before the bridge are small local operations, and losing any sales really slows them down.

“That is quite a blow for a local independent small business. We’re not big box stores where another link in the chain could help us.”

She said they would like to see some sort of financial compensation, especially with the city set to charge the bridge construction firm a penalty.

The city will start charging the construction firm $11,500 per day for any delays after Sept. 30. The bridge has been delayed, likely into 2016, because several girders that bent during installation had to be inspected and replaced.

Coun. Scott McKeen said he has sympathy for the proponents, but for the city to pay for a construction delay sets a dangerous precedent.

“I don’t think you would see council support that, because there have just been too many examples in the past and too many in the future,” he said.

He said he also doesn’t know how the city would draw lines if a business was two blocks or 10 blocks away from the closure.

“It might be ridiculous, but I don’t know where it starts and where it stops.”

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