Broadway business owners want shoppers to know they’ll be open all summer as the street prepares for a major facelift.
Starting May 2, the city will spend five months fixing old water mains and repaving the road between the bridge and 8th Street.
“Just because you’ve got construction doesn’t mean you’re closed,” Yard and Flagon owner Arno Oldach said. “We’re just really hoping that the people of Saskatoon start carpooling, take the bus, park close by, walk and do things as usual.”
The project’s first phase will shut down the Broadway Bridge for one week as crews work on the bridge and adjacent roads.
Workers will then move block-by-block south to 8th Street, temporarily shutting down sections of the road. Crews will then work on sections of Main Street, 10th, 11th and 12th Streets just off Broadway Avenue until the end of October.
“This work will result in fewer water main breaks in the future, meaning less disruption to businesses and drivers,” said Celene Anger, director of construction and design with the city.
Anger said they are working with the Broadway Business Improvement District and area summer festivals to make sure nothing has to be cancelled.
BID board chair Alison Whelan said as soon as their organization heard about the project, they contacted the city to work with them.
She said while some business owners are worried about negative effects on their shops, they are generally understanding because the area has experienced a spike in water main and surface road problems.
“We’re looking at this as a short-term pain, long-term gain project,” she said.
Oldach said the city told him they would need to shut off the water for around one day in mid June to repair the water main in his area.
“In the grand scheme of things, when you’re tearing up the entire street for us to have our water and sewer lines redone, that’s pretty cool in one day,” he said, adding he hopes the noise doesn’t deter people from enjoying their patio.
Reminiscent of when the Broadway Bridge was closed for six months in the 1980s, businesses are banding together to come up with creative solutions to keep people on Broadway. This time, however, they have social media to help them.
Whelan said there are no concrete plans but encouraged people to check out the BID and businesses’ social media pages for updates.