Downtown businesses understand the reason behind the Water Street infrastructure development

A walk-in information session was held at St. John’s City Hall on Thursday, March 22, about the sewer and water system replacement project for Water Street.

Victoria Battcock
Kicker News

Phase one of an infrastructure replacement will begin on Water Street April 2. The area lying between Waldegrave Street and Bishop’s Cove will be the first to get fixed.

Drivers should expect delays, but the end result will be a better looking and better smelling downtown area.

While the roads are torn up from water and sewage replacement, the workers will also be making improvements to intersections by adding accessible pedestrian signals. When putting the road back, they will replace the old pavement and trim with new material.

The city has made efforts to get the public involved by offering engagement sessions. Over the past year, the city of St. John’s has hosted sessions at malls and other local hubs to get the people involved as much as possible. Along with the sessions, the city accepted recommendations through email feedback.

Using the information gathered, the city devised its plans to improve the downtown area.

There were two sessions at City Hall to ensure business owners were able to engage with the operators and managers of the project.

“These sessions continue our ongoing dialogue with the downtown community to ensure that they are up to date on the project plan,” said Coun. Dave Lane.

Locals believe that the businesses on the front line are going to be affected the most. The business owners, however, are not worried.

The delays in traffic do not seem to concern most workers. Downtown is known as a place where people shop on foot and walk to their desired destination. With everything being close together in the area, this does not create a problem.

Businesses in the area of the first phase are not worried.

Marie’s Mini Mart is located on the corner of Water Street and Bishop’s Cove, which means it will be one of the businesses on the first strip of construction.

“This is the fourth time that the street has been blocked off since I started working here four years ago,” said Kate Clarke, manager at Marie’s Mini Mart. “We are used to it. It won’t affect us at all because most of my customers come here on foot.”

The walking traffic will not change since many people do not park along the street anymore. If people are in the area, they are parked in one of the parking garages or get a cab from home. If someone wants to go to Marie’s Mini Mart, they can still walk there.

The people working at the businesses understand why the development is taking place. The sewage system was installed over 100-years ago and it would have to be upgraded sooner-or-later.

Cab drivers for City Wide say that they do not believe that the construction will affect them at all. They will simply park in the area closest to George Street and still be able to continue their businesses without interruption.

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