Almost two years after it started, the road construction in Hyde Park is set to be completed in the next couple of weeks.
The widening of Hyde Park Road, and the added work to nearby stretches such as Gainsborough Road, has snarled traffic and affected local businesses since it all started back in 2014.
The $40-million project had long been criticized by businesses in the area, who say it resulted in fewer customers and lower revenues.
“It has been a pretty smooth process, save for a few hiccups that we’ve had along the way,” Hyde Park Business Association’s Donna Szpakowski told AM980, ”Overall, it has been a good process, although that has come with some reduced revenue.”
Szpakowski said the construction led drivers to avoid the Hyde Park business community altogether, bringing possible spending dollars with them.
However, with the newly-renovated roadway comes another issue: speed.
The speed limit on the new stretch of road has been set at 60 km/h, though Szpakowski says they see many drivers exceed that.
“We’re seeing higher speeds, because it’s such a wonderful road to go up and down now,” Szpakowski said, “This is something we hope to have addressed. We’ll be working with our councilor (Josh Morgan) to see what we can do to bring the speed to the attention of the commuters.”
Meantime, Saturday marked one month since a massive blaze ripped through 1700 Hyde Park — a popular strip mall that housed 14 businesses. Szpakowski says they have not yet heard from the Ontario Fire Marshall about the cause of the blaze, or when the building will be torn down.
The plaza was home to the restaurant Porcino, a Benjamin Moore store, D&S Pianos, Elation Spa, and other businesses.