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Uptown Waterloo business owner upset about more road closures

Last Updated Nov 22, 2016 at 5:09 pm EST

570 News file photo.

A local business owner is upset that more road closures will be taking effect in Uptown Waterloo in the spring for continued ION work.

Brian Plouffe is the owner of King Street Trio in the heart of LRT construction. Plouffe says closing the road for street scape work could hurt businesses already affected by LRT construction.

“It’s very unfair to the businesses that have already had to suffer through 10 months of road closures to then turn around and close the road again four months after you reopen it,” says Plouffe. “It’ll be closed for another five-month period which could potentially include the summer, which is a strong time for us Uptown Waterloo merchants.”

Eric Saunderson is Senior Project Manager of Design and Construction at the Region of Waterloo. He tells 570 News this has always been part of the plan.

“The work has been planned for several years,” says Saunderson. “It was first initiated in 2010 and has been planned and designed concurrently with the ION project and the intent has been to improve the street scape in Uptown Waterloo following the ION construction.”

Saunderson adds the project will close the area south of Erb Street up to Central Street for another two months in the spring

“The anticipated timing of this project, including some work on Erb Street, would be about two months in it’s entirety,” says Saunderson. “We would be completing this stage of the street scaping project prior to preceding on with any future stages north of the Erb Street intersection.”

“The work would start in April and would last until about the end of May or early June. Once the intersection has been re-opened, there wouldn’t be any future closures required.”

Meantime, Plouffe says wants King Street to be open for at least a year in the Uptown core, so businesses can recover before the street is closed again.

“It would be nice if we had an opportunity to catch up. It would be nice if we had an opportunity to run our businesses unencumbered for a year before they close the road again.”

Plouffe adds having the road closed off for 15 out of 19 months is a lot for these businesses to absorb.