After more than a year of delays, businesses along Moose Jaw’s High Street celebrated the official completion of a water main replacement project over the weekend.
The street in the downtown business district was first dug up in 2017. The project was supposed to be finished by November of that year.
Moose Jaw Chamber of Commerce (COC) CEO Rob Clark explained it turned into a 13-month ordeal for businesses who lost customers because the road was blocked or difficult to drive on.
“They had all kinds of issues and different things happening, it was almost like the perfect storm,” Clark explained. “It affected 54 businesses along the eight blocks of High Street and there were some that were a block over but still blocked off.”
The street was voted the worst road in the province this past spring during CAA Saskatchewan’s Worst Road Campaign.
The city officially took over the project in May after the private contractor hired to do the job was removed. Work to repave the street began in July.
After more than a year of frustration, Clark said the mood among affected businesses has shifted to relief as the pavement is smooth and all eight blocks are officially reopened.
“Everybody was ecstatic the road was open and I think now they’re really, really looking forward to moving on,” Clark said.
Members of the COC walked the street on Saturday to visit with businesses and to bring some positive publicity to the fact the road had been reopened.
Clark said local entrepreneurs showed their resiliency over the past year, with all but one remaining open despite financial struggles. He noted it will likely take a while for businesses to get back on track after more than a year of hardship.