Damaged overpass, damaged tills
For some local businesses on Tranquille Market, repairs to the damaged Tranquille Road overpass leading to the North Kamloops business district can’t be completed soon enough.
Some stores contacted by KTW say sales are taking a direct hit due to the road closure.
The overpass will remain closed for at least another week after it was struck on May 11 by an excavator being hauled by a semi-truck.
In an attempt to help traffic access Tranquille Market without being forced north to the intersection of Tranquille Road, Fortune Drive and Eighth Street, city crews have removed left-turn restrictions for northbound vehicles at Fortune Drive and Fort Avenue.
Crews have also added a controlled left-turn arrow, timed with the green light.
However, for those businesses in the 100- to 400-blocks of Tranquille Road, it comes as a small consolation, as they have already seen evidence of a drop in business.
Bruno’s Cold Beer and Wine manager Tricia Bertin said the store was affected on the day of the accident.
“It definitely made a difference in our sales.” Bertin said. “The warm weekend weather helped bring in lots of thirsty people, which helped, but it’s slowed things down a bit once more.”
Butler Auto & RV owner Joel Butler, whose business is well-established and located just off the overpass, said the closure immediately impacted his sales in a big way.
“Since last Friday afternoon [May 11], we’ve been dead. We’ve now got better deals, but we’re not getting any new business, just from our previous purchasers.”
Butler remains frustrated by what he views as an unnecessarily long time to get repairs underway on the structure.
Further down Tranquille Market, front-desk associate Nathan Fitch at Northbridge Hotel and Suites pointed to the street from the window of the hotel’s front desk, noting the normally busy noon-hour flow of vehicle and pedestrian traffic is now reduced to a trickle.
Fitch said businesses closer to the damaged overpass are being impacted more than those farther north on Tranquille Market.
“Our Friday and Saturday business at the bar [The Duchess] was definitely way under on our daily take,” Fitch said, noting traffic flow normally coming down Tranquille Market from the overpass is like “a mouth that is feeding businesses with people from the drive-by bridge traffic.
“The opportunity for these businesses to get the stop-in customer is definitely reduced.”
At Yew Street and Tranquille Road, a main intersection farther north on Tranquille Market, Donut King and Coffee manager Twee Nguyen said the closure has not impacted sales.
“Tuesday was very busy.” Nguyen said.
“I haven’t noticed a difference at all.”