Residents on Elena Court in Charlottetown say they weren't given any notice that some of their driveways would be blocked for road work.
Elena Court is being repaved. While that work is proceeding, the city is installing fibre optic cables underground.
The city had planned to use a special piece of equipment to install the cable that was less intrusive, but it broke on Thursday afternoon. Not wanting to delay the paving, crews changed plans.
"So we did have to revert to using a backhoe and digging a trench to install it," said Richard MacEwen, manager of the city's water and sewer utility.
The decision to dig the trench was made late on Thursday afternoon, said MacEwen. The trench ended up blocking access to half a dozen driveways on the street, he said.
Lyma Eldershaw lives in a building on Elena Court. She was given no notice that the building's driveway would be blocked.
"When they went across the driveway, I was more afraid of maybe somebody needing an appointment or something because it did take a while for them to fill the driveway," said Eldershaw.
"I really don't know any other way to get out of here."
Cody MacDonald of JC Property Management, the company that manages three buildings on Elena Court, said he received no notice that the work was to get underway, and no warning of a trench.
He said the unexpected construction complicated traffic in the area, and could have created a safety issue.
"We've had the unfortunate circumstance where we've had fire trucks have to come to one of our buildings before," he said. "Elena Court is tight enough as it is."
He said there is also an inconvenience to tenants "when they just randomly show up at home and don't have access to the driveway," he said.
City acknowledges no notice was given
The city said it didn't give residents any notice that their driveway might be blocked.
"We did not send information out into social media about the change. So we apologize for that," said MacEwen.
MacEwen said the driveways should have only been blocked for about half an hour.
The city issued a traffic advisory stating that Elena Court would be torn up for paving on Friday, Sept. 11.
MacEwen said that the broken equipment did set them back, but expects paving to be completed next week.
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