Olympic Train Steamrollered Them,|Businesses Say in Downtown Vancouver

VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – Dozens of businesses claim that construction of Vancouver’s Canada Line Rapid Transit, which will carry thousands of visitors from Vancouver airport to downtown during the 2010 Winter Olympics, is, ironically, driving them out of business.




     The businesses say the “cut and cover” construction method used to build part of the line was needlessly disruptive, and that a “bored tunnel” would have “involved no disturbance to the surface of the Canada Line route between stations.”
     Defendants Canada Line Rapid Transit, the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority and Intransit BC used the less disruptive method to build half the line, but used the “cut and cover” method along the Cambie Street corridor, which snarled traffic as the entire street was excavated, leaving a massive trench for nearly a year.
     The street closures “significantly impaired the ability of the public to conveniently access the plaintiffs’ premises,” according to the complaint in B.C. Supreme Court.
     The businesses say the were either driven out of business or forced to move and, suffered lost revenue and profits while incurring increased costs to cope with the nuisance created by the line’s construction.
     A class action is pending against the defendants for similar allegations. The latest suit comes after a former Cambie Street merchant was awarded $600,000 in damages last May after she was forced to relocate her store during the construction project.
     Plaintiffs are represented by A. Cameron Ward.

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