A group of Burnaby residents furious at delays to a long-running city construction project will get to air their grievances in person this week.
The City of Burnaby has sent a letter to several Broadway Street residents inviting them to two public information meetings with city staff about the project, which the city is cancelling.
One is on July 29 and the other is on Aug. 12. The city has completed about 70% of the 2.2 kilometres of upgrades to Broadway, with work completed from Underhill to Phillips.
But the city recently told residents that it was cancelling the work from Phillips to Bainbridge – with the work possibly completed as part of a future project. The city has promised to restore Broadway residents’ properties so they look “neat and tidy.” But several residents have spoken out about their frustrations with the delay after a year of construction and the damage to their properties.
Len Chung wrote to the city to say how “disappointed” he was that the project has been cancelled. Chung said the project meant that a construction crew had to remove a 10-foot high “mature hedge” that ran 90 feet along his property.
“It was a huge sacrifice from our family for this project at this time and now to know that it was for no benefits, for a miscalculated plan,” Chung told the city in a letter. “We really want to have our clean, quiet neighbourhood back and live a normal life again. … The hedges fence gave us so much protection, privacy and enjoyment. Your crew took the hedges down, which exposed us without any privacy at all, exposed us with dust, noises and light. Since the start of the construction until now, my family haven’t been able to enjoy and play in our own yard. My wife was so upset and distressed about this incident. She couldn’t bear to watch the crew took down the hedges trees at that time.”
Broadway resident Sam Clark also told the NOW he was frustrated because he’s had to delay upgrades to his front yard.
“The city’s incompetence is staggering, not to mention a complete lack of respect and regard to our quality of life,” Clark said. “The City of Burnaby should be ashamed of the lack of competence.
The City of Burnaby wrote to Clark to say that the portion of the project from Phillips to Bainbridge had to be cancelled due to issues involving utilities.
“Unfortunately, through the course of construction, we discovered that some third party utilities are not installed as per their as-built record drawings, which has caused extensive delays for the contractor and an inconvenience to the local residents and travelling public,” wrote an engineering project manager with the city. “Construction of the Broadway upgrades cannot continue without significant re-design of the utilities.”
The city said in the letter that it was best to cancel the rest of the project and then possibly pursue it again at a later date as part of a different phase of Broadway upgrades, but no firm timeline was given.