Bank Street facelift begins Tuesday until November

For the next six months, Glebe resident Victoria Merkley will be hustling to catch the #5 bus.

“If I miss it, it comes every half an hour,” she said.

“They’re usually early or late, so you have to be at the stop because you never know when it’s going to come.”

Merkley, 21, usually takes the #1 or the #7, which she said run every 15 minutes.

Those routes will be diverted along O’Connor St. when a $22-million dollar construction project begins Tuesday morning on Bank Street.

The road, curbs and sidewalks will be rebuilt and 100-year-old sewer and water pipes will be replaced from the Queensway to the Bank Street bridge.

Merkley doesn’t have a car and relies solely on OC Transpo.

“I have to rearrange my whole schedule,” she said.

“I’m not too happy. The bus pass is so expensive, you’d hope that it would be easier to get around, but it’s not.”

A few steps from the bus stop is Britton’s Magazines & Newspapers, where The Book of Awesome — the ultimate optimist’s bible — is on display near the entrance.

Owner Ted Britton sounds like he’s been reading it.

“I try to look at the positive part of it and say that there’s 100 streets in the Glebe and only one is closed, so there’s a lot of side streets to park,” Britton said.

With the road ripped up, he’s anticipating sales will take a beating for the next few months.

“I think most of our customers are pretty loyal so they’ll try to get here,” he said.

And that could mean leaving the car at home altogether.

“A lot of people said they’re probably going to walk and bike more than they used to, so maybe there’ll be a health benefit for everybody in the area,” said Britton.

Andrew Forster has lived in the Glebe for 15 years and works nearby.

“It’s going to be a nightmare for business,” he said.

“Hopefully they’ll do it quickly.”

Construction is expected to be completed by December.

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