Drivers might want to continue to avoid Lorne Street for a couple more weeks as construction has delayed the reopening between Second and Third avenues.
The City had hoped to have the latest stage of Lorne Street enhancements — allowing for construction of a roundabout at the foot of Third Avenue — completed by Friday, but project manager Gary Murlaca said that wasn't possible.
Murlaca said construction of the roundabout at Third and Lorne, along with gravel subsurface preparation along Lorne, required the extension.
"We won't be open until Aug. 9 when we'll have the road reinstated with full traffic."
"We want to have it open for Aug. 10 for the Ribfest event," added Kristen Meersman, capital projects manager.
In the meantime, traffic headed to Riverside Park will continue to be diverted around the construction site via the underpass where Lorne Street merges with Lansdowne. Traffic bound for Interior Savings Centre is being routed via the Tenth Avenue underpass or Red Bridge.
Pedestrians are encouraged to use the same access point, although many have been attempting to negotiate their way through the gravel at Third.
On Friday, the project contractor had a flagperson posted to assist people, including those in wheelchairs, through the site. Madeline Peel said she was guiding people out of a concern for public safety. A heavy equipment operator was keeping an eye out but some pedestrians were charging straight through at their own peril.
Most people took the inconvenience in stride, but some out-of-town visitors were disconcerted by the confusion.
"Why is all this going on in July?" asked Rosalind Roos from Vancouver. "We were given directions to come straight down Third, and now we've got all messed up."
"We're not sure we're supposed to be walking here or not," said Catherine Ronald. "It's not a big deal, and they were nice about it."
Murlaca and Meersman said the City has done its best to accommodate the inconvenience by posting signs and running radio ads, but they can't hope to reach everyone.
"It's impossible to maintain traffic flow through that," he said.