King Street opens to traffic in Waterloo

Photo by Tristan Renaud

Photo by Tristan Renaud

King Street, in uptown Waterloo, was opened up to two-way traffic last Wednesday night after almost a year of LRT construction caused the road to be closed from Union St. to Erb St.

GrandLinq announced early in November that it was their intent to open the street and finish the main portion of LRT construction on Nov. 30—a goal which they were able to accomplish.

Although traffic is now able to flow through King St., the main road in uptown Waterloo, construction will still continue for several months, explained Patti Brooks, executive director of the Uptown Waterloo Business Improvement Area (BIA).

In addition to the over-head wiring which will power the trains, GrandLinq will continue to do considerable work in regards to the tracks and station-stops which still need to be implemented.

“To my knowledge, it won’t affect any closures on King St. There may be some very temporary disruptions for an hour or two, but they will have flaggers in place. The traffic will continue to flow,” said Brooks.

To celebrate the opening of King St., Uptown BIA hosted “The Festival of Living Streets” this past Saturday, which turned out to be a huge success for businesses in the area.

“We thought the event went very well. In spite of the chilly, damp, rainy weather, we had well over 2,000 people out,” said Brooks.

The event featured Santa Claus in Waterloo Town Square, free horse-drawn trolley rides and various giveaways provided by businesses that are a part of the BIA.

Additionally, the “Living Gift Guide” display featured perfect holiday gift items from uptown Waterloo businesses and were available for people to see in the town square throughout the entire day.

As well, over 30 ballerinas from Centre Stage Dance Studio were dispersed throughout uptown Waterloo. The ballerinas were able to pose and dance in business windows.

“Most importantly, the reason that we did this event was a celebration of movement in uptown Waterloo; to bring people into uptown Waterloo and share with them that our street is open and that our businesses are open, healthy and viable,” said Brooks.

Businesses in the BIA felt that the event was a great way to encourage individuals to make their way into uptown Waterloo.

Some even said that it was their busiest Saturday in a long time.

“We were thrilled to hear that. We went through a lot of effort to include all of uptown Waterloo businesses in this event, not just those in the immediate area of the Waterloo Public Square.”

Uptown BIA will continue to promote businesses through the Open House event being held this Saturday, as well as their Twelve Days of Christmas which runs from Dec. 13 to Dec. 24.

The Open House will feature a “Holiday Trinket Search,” in which customers will be given a passport with 23 different trinkets listed. Each trinket will be found in a different store around Uptown. After finding five trinkets, individuals will be entered to win a grand prize of over 250 dollars.

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