ROAD construction works along Halls Gap's Grampians Road have been delayed.
Northern Grampians Shire Council is working on a number of upgrades, including pathways around the Stoney Creek precinct and along the town's main shopping and cafe strip.
A section of Grampians Road and footpaths surrounding the entry to the Stoney Creek precinct remains lined with temporary fencing ahead of the long weekend and amid the Victorian school holidays.
Quarry Restaurant owner Stephen Johnston said the works had been ongoing for more than five months.
"Works started before Easter this year and the Stoney Creek stores have limited access," he said.
"It is terribly difficult to maintain a business over the winter months in Halls Gap without being fenced off during Easter time, April school holidays, Anzac Day, Grape Escape weekend, May long weekend, June long weekend, mid-year school holidays and now the spring school holidays.
"Over the past 15 years not even fires and floods dished out by Mother Nature has slowed our businesses in Stoney Creek, Halls Gap as much as works currently going on in the main street."
READ MORE: Halls Gap construction works continue
Mr Johnston said he was "baffled" at the length of time it was taking for the works to be complete.
"The streetscape in Stawell's Main Street only took three months to complete," he said.
"I am concerned the works at Halls Gap will still be going leading into summer and possibly even the Summer school holidays.
"I wonder if the streetscape works to the Main Street of Stawell took this long, business owners would have been this patient."
Northern Grampians Shire Mayor Kevin Erwin said the duration of the project was "not ideal".
"We have run into some issues with the pavers and also the weather has had an impact on the project," he said.
"We're hoping to get it wrapped up by the end of the year. It might go a little bit over that but due to the funding constraints, it has to be done reasonably soon.
"I think it's progressing along reasonably. I know they have taken some time but there was quite a bit of work to do, too."
Cr Erwin said he has heard of some "grumbles" from traders about the length of the project.
"I'm not sure if it has had a huge affect on business," he said.
"We are aware of the issues and trying to work with the traders and the timelines of construction."
Halls Gap Residents and Ratepayers Association president Paul Turner said the topic was discussed at a recent meeting.
"There were a few comments about the length of time it has taken for the works to be completed," he said.
"It's going to be fantastic when it's finished. The amount of work and detail that's going into it is unbelievable.
"But there were questions around the room around the timeline of the project."
Grampians Tourism chief executive Marc Sleeman said the improvements were only going to enhance the visitor experience.
"The construction work is a vital piece of infrastructure that is helping to continue to grow the length of stay for visitors," he said.
"We're only going to continue to grow visitor's length of stay by improving visitor experience"
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