Traffic tie-ups, detours and slowdowns in Halifax are becoming more pronounced as dozens of road construction projects are underway. While the price of progress doesn't come without its inconveniences, commuters and businesses say they're feeling the impact of the city's new developments.
Nearing the end of October, plenty of traffic-delaying digging could be seen in many neighbourhoods in the Halifax Regional Municipality. With around 72 projects on file for the current calendar year, some projects span to multiple streets.
And it's not cheap. HRM says the entire cost for the work impacting city streets is $60 million.
Beyond the noise, Café Lara owner Lara Cusson says traffic tie-ups are also having an impact on her business.
"When your customers can't access your business, it's a problem," says Cusson, who questions the timing of the new construction projects. "I wonder why we didn't do this when we were all locked down. That would have been the time to fix the roads."
Spring Garden Area Business Association executive director Sue Uteck says the city's leadership needs to step up. "The communication is not the best from city hall," she says.
However, good news could be on the horizon. HRM has asked the province for a charter change, which could help establish a construction mitigation fund.
"One per cent of a construction project would be given to the business association to help improve the signage and wayfinding," says Uteck, noting a mitigation fund could also be used to highlight program events happening in the area.
As for when road work will end, HRM says its regular construction time runs from May into December – meaning work will continue for at least another month.