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Road construction impacts south Kitchener businesses

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Businesses along King St. E. in Kitchener are bracing for another summer of road construction.

After a pause during winter, the next phase of a multi-year project will again cause major traffic congestion between Highway 401 and Sportsworld Dr.

“Almost every customer that comes in the door is commenting on the traffic,” says Samantha Power, manager of Casalife. “We kind of feel like we have to apologize even though we kind of have nothing to do with it.”

The road reconstruction started in 2022 and impacts traffic in both directions on King St. E.

“Clients are always having an issue getting in and out of the parking lot,” adds Power.

The traffic back-ups are affecting the bottom line for some other businesses in the area.

“Weekdays are getting very, very, very slow,” says Nisarg Shah, the owner of Maverick’s Donut Company in Kitchener. “We don’t even make enough business to get the labour or cover the food costs.”

“A lot of people didn’t want to come out because just getting from the highway to here, it should take about two minutes, but it’s been taking about 20 to 25 minutes,” adds Ragavi Ravichandrakumar, general manager of the Piper Arms Pub.

Ravichandrakumar says the patio didn’t appeal to customers last summer during construction.

“They don’t want to sit out there because of the noise, the dust. So we lost a bunch of customers with our patio,” he says.

The Region of Waterloo’s website says the reconstruction will focus on intersection improvements, storm sewer replacements, and infrastructure for a future LRT track.

Roadwork along King St. E. in Kitchener causes traffic congestion. (Stefanie Davis/CTV News)

Businesses tell CTV News that it’s not only the traffic congestion causing problems.

They say their power, water, and internet have also been affected during construction.

“They’ll warn us that they’re going to shut off our water on certain days and not actually do it. And then unexpectedly shut off our water on other days,” says Power.

The Piper Arms Pub has also had a few power outages that Ravichandrakumar describes as “quick.”

“They don’t last too long, but it’s just right away everyone kind of panics.”

CTV News reached out to the region for an update, but have yet to hear back.

The last update indicated the construction would finish up this July.

“Everyone in the plaza would be very happy if it gets over very soon,” says Shah.

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