A major project that’s been causing a big headache for a number of shops on 17 Avenue is spawning a street festival aimed at telling the residents of Calgary that they are open for business.
Crews have been working on the route since April, upgrading utility lines, the roadway and sidewalks, street lights and many other sections of the street.
The construction zone has ended up closing 17 Avenue to one lane in each direction. That restriction will remain in place through September but the project, from the Stampede Grounds to 14 Street for years.
The closure and delay has prompted restaurants in the area to band together to encourage customers to keep coming while construction is ongoing.
“To try to do something to help each other out and create visibility and break the mindset of anybody thinking of avoiding the street,” said Justin Leboe, chef/owner of Pigeonhole – Model Milk. “It’s not that big of an issue; there’s still lots of parking, lots of accessibility in other ways.”
Leboe says the event will open up everything on the block. “We’re basically going to open our restaruants and patios, roasters, breweries, and there will be drinks available. and just try to create a street festival for anyone that’s on the block.”
Roy Oh, from Chef Anju, says it’s comforting to know that business owners have each other’s backs. “It’s nice to celebrate that community as well as this block and be part of the whole community of Calgary.”
The ‘roadblock party’ takes place on September 3 and will be part of Pride celebrations in Calgary.
Roadwork is expected to cause delays and detours until late 2019.
(With files from Stephanie Wiebe)