Construction of Aylmer Street delays headache for several businesses in downtown Peterborough
Businesses on Aylmer Street, near Townsend Street, are frustrated after street closures that impacted their businesses were made for construction work that was suspended.
Construction on the Central Area Flood Reduction Project was scheduled to begin in May along Aylmer Street, diverting traffic from what is considered the second busiest street in the city center.
Business owners and managers across the region say the lack of progress in construction has had an impact as they attempt to resume normal activity after COVID-19 closures.
During the consultation process, companies were given assurances that there would be minimal disruptions, said Daryl Guy, manager of the Long and McQuade Musical Instruments store at 129 Aylmer Street.
âAt the time, according to the city, there would have been no road closure,â Guy said.
“There could be lane reductions at worst, and it will be business as usual, then they came and said they were going to close the road, it could take 90 to 120 days at most.”
The project was supposed to take about three to four months from May, but now it will likely be the end of October, said Linda Twohey, owner of Twohey’s Furniture store also at 129 Aylmer Street, in the same building as Long and McQuade. .
âIt’s extremely difficult to do business when they’ve closed a couple of blocks around the store,â Twohey said.
âIt was extremely difficult for people to get to our company and get to work. “
Twohey said customers were upset by the difficulty of trying to navigate road closures to get to the store.
âEvery customer who comes in asks us if we realize how difficult it is to get to our store,â she said.
âThey are cranky, it’s very hard to understand, they have all the intersections blocked, they have pylons, it’s very difficult to know which side to drive. They are just not happy.
Both companies are concerned about the impact road closures and construction will have on their businesses if nothing is done to help remedy the situation while waiting for excavation to begin.
âWe’ll have to see where the business goes, it’s hard to do business for sure,â Guy said.
âBeing closed all this time and then opening up to a situation where people can’t get to your store, it sure makes it difficult.â
Long and McQuade teach a lot of musical instruments and have other foot traffic and if people have a hard time getting to the store it could really impact the business, Guy said.
âRegulars find a way to get here. It’s more new customers, if you can get to another music store and you don’t have to go through construction sites, people could just go, âhe said.
Frustration mounts for business owners and staff, especially with road closures and lack of construction.
It’s frustrating, Twohey said, because several years ago the city built works in the same area and the situation was similar.
âConsidering the fact that we’ve been closed for months due to the pandemic, being closed for six months due to a construction project is huge,â Twohey said.
The city has yet to provide an update on the construction project after being contacted for comment by The Examiner.