A Red Deer woman says she’s given up on city assurances since her mail delivery service has now been suspended for 10 weeks because of major road construction on 37th Street.
“At this point I simply give up,” said Shanna Lydiard. “I have lost all faith and trust in the city planners … to think of the residents when planning major projects.”
Like many other residents of 37th Street in West Park, Lydiard hasn’t had letters delivered to her residence since April 6 when excavation began tearing up the street to upgrade city water mains.
While a city manager had previously stated that mail delivery in the area should resume by May 19, it’s now a month later and Canada Post carriers still haven’t ventured onto the street as sidewalks remain torn up by construction.
Canada Post did not commit to any restart date for carrier service in a previous email to the Advocate, only saying that the street would first have to be safe for carriers.
Lydiard said she hasn’t been able to go to North Red Deer to pick up her mail since her work hours in south Red Deer are 7:30 to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and the post office is only open from 9 to 5. She hasn’t been able to arrange to have a proxy pick up her mail because she is new to the city and her roommate doesn’t drive.
“All I can do is hope Canada Post delivers all the mail sitting there” — including a new driver’s license that she’s been expecting, said Lydiard, who’s had to keep renewing her temporary one online.
If the inconvenience was going to last so long, she questioned why couldn’t the city have pre-arranged with Canada Post to temporarily install a community mailbox?
In her latest dealings with the City of Red Deer, a utilities manager assured Lydiard that sidewalks on the street should be rebuilt by the end of the month — but she doesn’t believe it.
Considering the state of construction that’s also rutted back lanes with heavy equipment, she thinks the sidewalks likely won’t be finished until at least mid-July.
“City hall wants tax payments but refuses to make life more civil for those living here,” said Lydiard. “I don’t believe the sidewalks will be done in two weeks. I don’t believe a single word from the city anymore.”
Jim Jorgenson, utilities manager for the City of Red Deer, said “We know that access to mail is very important to our residents, and extend our apologies… for any inconvenience this project may have caused.”
The road construction was necessary to upgrade “the critical infrastructure everyone relies on for the provision of a safe and reliable water source.” But Jorgenson said the city will communicate better with residents in future when these projects could impact their mail delivery.
Various options have been discussed with Canada Post — which is ultimately responsible for mail delivery — such as using alternative locations, providing different site access, and the possible installation of a temporary neighbourhood mailbox, said Jorgenson.
In the meantime, the contractor has been working hard to complete the project on time, he added. “As soon as sidewalk access is established we will be contacting Canada Post to inspect and reinstate mail delivery as soon as possible.”