Construction season is officially upon Windsor and Ottawa Street is first in line for a makeover.

The street features over 60 businesses that will have to endure a full season of construction.

“It's been 30 years, and it's time things were refreshed and reconstructed," says Arnold Blaine, president of the Ottawa Street Business Improvement Association.

Shovels and jackhammers hit the pavement Tuesday along with dozens of pylons and detour signs. Full road closures between Windermere and Pierre will begin late April.

Construction is always a going concern for small businesses, but the Ottawa Street BIA says they're willing to put up with the short-term pain for the long-term gain.

“I think everybody's a little apprehensive about the construction. It's something that we need to do again," says Blaine.

Resurfaced roads, sidewalks and more street parking spots will be part of the $2.4-million city project.

The BIA says none of the work will alter the unique features of the shopping district, which has been around for the better part of a century.

“It was local, it was quaint, it was comfortable, and it still is,” says Dan Orman, owner of Freeds of Windsor. “And that’s why the expansion and reconstruction to our street is so timely."

Ruelland's Antiques owner Maurice Ruelland says the ‘Ma and Pa’ feel is what drew him to open a business here four years ago.

“We have great little niches all over the city,” says Ruelland. “We have it right here and we think we have to go somewhere else, and we don't."

It's estimated that $50,000 people live within a 15-minute walk of Ottawa Street, which will be accessible by side-streets throughout construction.

City planners hope to wrap construction up by the beginning of August - to make sure the streets are ready for the busy shopping season.