Frustrations escalate as pedway delays continue

Frustrations escalate as pedway delays continue

After a tense day of the provincial inspector examining the St. Patrick Street escalator in Saint John, it seems unlikely the stairs will be up and running Thursday evening.

"The work is ongoing at this time," Lisa Cassie, a communications official with the city, said at 5:40 p.m.

Cassie had not responded to an inquiry asking for a clarification about whether that means the escalator would be running Thursday.

As of 6 p.m., crews continued to work.

"I'll just say, it will probably be tomorrow," Shirley McAlary, deputy mayor for the city, said in front of the broken escalator much earlier in the day. "Hopefully."

The broken escalator, which is part of the city's indoor walkway system, has been asore point, and even the subject of a petitionto city hall that was critical of how long it's been broken. The escalator has been out of service for two month.

Frustrating delays

McAlary said the lack of progress is frustrating.

"I think we have to look at the longer picture of what's happening here too. The issue is, if we find we can get the escalators working are [they] going to remain working or are they in the state of repair that we're going to, very soon, have another break down?"

The inspector seemed tense about the cameras on site New Brunswick Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Elaine Bell asked CBC in an email to extend "courtesy and allow our inspector the space and consideration to do his work safely and without distraction."

"Our inspector didn't ask to be filmed or appear on your Twitter account," Bell said. "He is simply trying to do his work, which takes a tremendous amount of time and concentration. He is not in a position to provide a step-by-step playdown or a statement."

Jodi Hynes, a spokesperson for Otis, the company that repaired the escalator, said the state of the escalator is important to the company.

"Otis is aware of the issue," Hynes wrote. "We will continue to work closely with the building owner and the City of Saint John to return the remaining escalators to service as soon as possible."

"There is nothing more important to Otis than the safety of our employees, customers and the people who rely on our products and services every day."

While it might just be one day more, after three previous repair jobs being required, frustration surrounding the situation seems to only escalate, especially now that the brand new pair of escalators that lead to the Saint John City Market are also dead in their tracks.