James Bay residents brace for six week construction disruption


WATCH: James Bay residents are bracing themselves for construction that will see a majority of Niagara Street closed for six weeks. Isabelle Raghem reports. 

Many James Bay residents who live on Niagara Street won’t be able to drive up their driveways until April.

“It’s a real inconvenience,” says Niagara Street resident Lena Maron.

The street will be shut down for six weeks starting Monday, from Saint Lawrence to South Turner Street.

It will be used as a staging area to put together a metre-wide and almost a kilometre long pipe, as part of the CRD’s wastewater treatment project.

“We’re coordinating with emergency responders at all times so that they can have access to the houses,” said Elizabeth Scott, deputy director of the CRD’s wastewater treatment program. “But unfortunately for the residents who live on Niagara Street, they will have to park on nearby side streets and walk to their houses.”

Maron’s biggest worry is for her sister with special needs.

“The caregivers park in the driveway and they come through the gate,” says Maron, “the reason why we bought this [home] was so that it would be a convenient place for primarily my sister and her caregivers.”

“It’s gonna be a bit annoying for sure but I think you have to look at the bigger picture,” said another Niagara Street resident.

B.C. Transit bus number two, three and ten will be rerouted ? making commuting even more challenging for some bus users.

“Now I got to walk up to the top of the street instead of just across the street, ” says one resident, who has mobility issues and uses a cane. “This is going to be a chore for me.”

President of the James Bay Neighbourhood Association Marg Gardiner says this work shouldn’t be happening on Niagara Street, to begin with.

“The majority of the work should occur on the McLaughlin side because there are residents here that’ll be impacted,” Said Gardiner. “Whereas the McLaughlin Esquimalt side, there are very few people impacted,”

Scott says they looked at that option but not only was the Esquimalt side not levelled, Niagara Street was a much better fit and aligned with where the pipe will go under the harbour.

For more information the project and the closure, you can visit the CRD’s wastewater treatment program website.

Isabelle RaghemIsabelle Raghem

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