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Construction woes continue during peak season in downtown Sydney, N.S.

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Downtown Sydney, N.S., looks pretty torn up these days.

A section of Charlotte Street has been under construction since April. Just a block away, a portion of the Esplanade is down to one lane - and a bumpy one - until Friday, as part of the new Nova Scotia Community College Sydney Waterfront build.

"There's many days when nobody can get here,” said Louann MacDonald, owner of a restaurant located on Wentworth Street, a side street between the two major arteries under construction.

To make access to her business and parking even more difficult, the street in front of Louann’s Café was also reduced to one lane of traffic on Tuesday.

"Everyone is complaining there's no parking,” MacDonald said. “I don't have any parking at the best of times, but now it's even worse with the construction because I guess all the workers are taking parking too, right?"

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) says the lower portion of Charlotte Street should be fixed in a couple of months.

"The work on Charlotte Street is on schedule. The contractors are hoping to wrap up the work at the end of August,” said Jenna MacQueen of CBRM communications.

While rain in recent days has made for a muddy mess and slowed work down a bit, MacQueen said this is the third and final phase of the years-long Charlotte Street reconstruction.

"So the intent is for it to look exactly like Phases 1 and 2, with the widened sidewalks especially at the crosswalks,” MacQueen said. “Accessibility standards are being met."

MacDonald, who opened her café in the winter, isn't against the construction and said she sees its future benefits. She also figures her business will make it through until the work is complete.

"It has to be done,” MacDonald said. “It's either this year or next year but it's just too bad that it's so much at one time."

The work on the Esplanade is being done before the new NSCC campus is set to open in September.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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