At least two businesses along one of Fort St. John’s main thoroughfares have suffered negative impacts due to the current roadwork.
Both TIM-BR Mart and Transport Honda have reported being considerably affected by the construction.
TIM-BR Mart has lost approximately 400 customers each month since the construction began, says Store Manager Corey Richards.
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Richards says the company was able to determine the drop in their number of customers based on comparisons to last year’s numbers.
Another problem that the store encountered was when the internet connection was cut and employees were not able to conduct business because the store’s systems rely on the internet to process transactions. Richards says that only a few days after the internet connection was cut, the phone lines went down for four days.
Although he expects the store’s clientele base to return, he suspects that other businesses in the same area may be more deeply impacted by the construction.
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Richards says he has been in discussion with the City about the impacts the construction has had on the store, however was told there was nothing that could be done to provide additional aid to the businesses in the area.
Rick Borden is a co-owner of Transport Honda and says he has been in business in the City for nearly 40 years and has never before experienced such a drop in customers.
Although he says the current contractor has put signs in place for residents to take alternative routes into the various businesses, customers aren’t as willing to go far out of their way to find a business.
The City’s Director of Infrastructure and Capital Works Victor Shopland says the City has tried hard to ensure that there would almost always be direct road access to businesses in the area. He adds that the City has also tried to ensure there would be as few days as possible that the road would be closed.
Construction on 100 Ave. began in May and is expected to be completed by early next week.