Noise and dust from LRT construction disrupt life in Little Italy
OTTAWA -- Residents and business owners in Little Italy are dealing with the impact of construction of stage 2 of LRT, but there are questions about the sustainability of the system, as much of the city's workforce is out of the office indefinitely.
For Trattoria Caffe Italia, the noise and blasting from construction of the new Gladstone Station is creating some challenges, just as they open their patio.
"It's definitely a bit loud for the customers!" says manager Jasmine Chan. "We have a wine cellar that has over 6,500 bottles of wine. Sometimes the bottle shake and we are worried they might fall, But they are all safe right now."
Crews are excavating rocks and blasting to widen the O-Train trench in order to construct a station and lengthen existing passing tracks on the Trillium Line.
The work comes even closer to designer Christopher Solar's parking lot.
"The land we are standing on is not actually the driveway to my parking lot, it's part of the railway right of way, so this is all going to be taken over for the construction site," he told CTV News on Tuesday.
The planning for stage 2 LRT was all done before the pandemic and before most people started working from home, raising questions about what the workforce will look like when the construction is complete.
However, the councillor for the area says there is still a need to keep expanding LRT.
"Regardless of what is going on in the pandemic I don’t want to assume that LRT is no longer going to be necessary in order to ensure the sustainability of our city," said Kitchissippi ward councillor Jeff Leiper.
Leiper says the city is growing. New developments are being built nearby, intensifying the area.
"The only way it is sustainable is if people have reliable, convenient transit, and the only way to provide that is with LRT," he said.
Still, the noise and construction is cutting into an already difficult patio season and the staff at Trattoria Caffe Italia are looking forward to it being completed in 2022.
"It is not the ideal timing but our customers are really understanding," Chan said. "They take it as it is. It's a little extra noise, but adds to the ambiance!"