BARRIE -- There certainly have been some long term pain, and now people in Barrie's downtown want some long term gain.

The massive $13.1 million-dollar Dunlop Streetscape construction project is slowly coming to an end.

On Sunday, the machinery was idle as crews had the day off; however, the project is starting to take shape, and many people like what they see so far.

"I think the cobblestone looks really good," says Benjamin Kiatipis, "it's much more European, especially with less traffic going through here."

Construction has been underway since last year. Aside from much needed under groundwork, the project includes wider sidewalks, new street lights, and a general beautification of the downtown.

Work this week will focus on the Mary Street intersection, which could be open by Friday. When it street opens, Toronto street will then be closed. Storm work continues in the Five Points intersection with pave stone placement continuing along Dunlop.

Business owners, including Chris Gerrard who's owned The Queens for the past 31 years, says he can't wait to have Dunlop flowing freely again.

"We're excited, we're waiting for the Five Points to open up and finish the construction just to allow people a normal traffic pattern," says Gerrard.

Despite the pandemic, businesses are reporting more people in the downtown and are hoping fall can hold off a bit longer.

"Even with COVID, we've seen a lot more people a lot more tourism, people that are visiting the city, its a much more friendly walking environment going store to store," says Gerrard.

The city is reminding people that all businesses on Dunlop Street are still accessible during this work. The entire project is slated to be completed by early November.