Businesses located on 28th and Coldstream Avenues, between 30th and 32nd Streets in Vernon, want customers to know they’re open while road construction takes place.
The City of Vernon has started a $1.4 million full infrastructure replacement that will run through to the end of June.
“Road, drainage, sanitary, water, new sidewalk, street trees, the whole deal,” said city manager of infrastructure management, Mark Dowhaniuk. “It started last week and is slated to go for three months, that’s the plan.”
Signage has been erected that tell people how to access businesses such as Golden Crown Restaurant, Canadian Mental Health Association and its Georgette Thrift Store, and Sir Winston’s Pub and Liquor Store, on the south side of 28th as well as north-side businesses like Meridian Rehabilitation, Sun FM, Russell Shortt Land Surveyor, Libra Love Boutique and Okanagan Medicinal Society.
Tammy Dar, one of three owners of Sir Winston’s, said business last week, when construction started, was good, as it coincided with the pub opening its rooftop patio, but things have slowed down since.
“People seem to be finding their way here but there is quite a bit of confusion on the best way to get here,” said Dar. “We’re grateful to all of our customers that have made an effort to come out and see us during construction, and we really appreciate their loyalty and business.”
A spokesperson for Golden Crown named Yang said business was good before construction but had slowed down since the road was dug up.
An employee at Libra Love Boutique said January and February were slow months, then construction started at the end of March and business continues to be slow.
Despite some challenges with parking and access, Julia Payson, executive director of CMHA Vernon and District said her organization is really happy about getting an infrastructure upgrade, citing it as a positive benefit to the area.
“The crews have been great in accommodating pedestrian traffic along the route undergoing upgrades,” said Payson.
“Our program participants are managing well in getting to our programs. The Georgette Shop is open for business with a 50 per cent discount on almost everything in the store. There is parking available around the perimeter of the project area. We are asking our customers and community members to continue to support us and thank them for their patience during this time.”
Dowhaniuk said the city will be running community ads, as they’ve done in the past for capital projects in commercial areas, to get the public to support these local businesses during construction.