The City of Charlottetown is asking residents to be patient and courteous in the next 12 weeks as construction work on Beach Grove Road causes traffic delays getting in and out of downtown.
City crews are replacing an aging wooden culvert in a project that is preventing vehicles, walkers and cyclists from reaching North River Road from Beach Grove Road.
Instead, drivers — including people living in about 900 Lewis Point households — must take a detour through the Maypoint roundabout onto Capital Drive, adding to traffic already coming in and out of the city from the west.
"We know it's a huge disruption," said Scott Adams, the manager of public works for the City of Charlottetown.
"We just ask everyone to be patient, be courteous to other road users. Everyone's just trying to get to work or school in the morning…. Just leave a few minutes earlier to adjust your schedule, and turn up the tunes and just enjoy the drive into town."
The $4-million project to install a new concrete culvert, a sidewalk, guardrails, a new fence and shoreline protection measures is expected to take about 12 weeks, the city said in a Sept. 1 tweet, adding: "To help minimize additional disruptions in the area, necessary water and sewer work has also been scheduled during this time."
Tasha Mckarris, who works at the Arlington Orchards market on Beach Grove Road, said the detour has added about an hour to her commute and is limiting how many customers can reach the site.
"Travelling through Maypoint was insane," she said Monday. "Cars are like pretty much bumper to bumper."
Among other things, Mckarris questions why the work began at the start of the school year. She said her children's buses have been late getting to school because of the disruption.
MacAdam said an engineering firm told the city that the culvert, built in the 1940s or '50s, should be replaced immediately.
He said the city would be monitoring traffic signals on Capital Drive to make the flow as efficient as possible.
People on bikes and on foot may be able to use Beach Grove Road again at some point during the construction if that can be done safely, he said.
"We're really limited on how wide the roadway is through this causeway area, and so we had no choice but to close it off during construction."