By Matt Kroschel

IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Years of detours, dirt and big machinery are over in Idaho Springs and business owners couldn’t be happier.

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The more than two year project redeveloped roads, parking and sidewalks on the main drag through the small historic mining town off Interstate 70 in Clear Creek County.

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During construction, business was hard to come by since the detours made it confusing and frustrating for visitors to the east end of the downtown’s business district.

Idaho Springs Mayor Mike Hillman is also the owner of the restaurant Wildfire and he says there were some days during the construction it was better to just close their doors than try to battle with the crews outside over the dirt and debris in the parking lot.

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“They did a great job getting this massive project done and we are very happy it is over and the results are already paying off,” Hillman said.

He says sales tax data already shows an uptick in business since the cone zones disappeared last month.

There is still some work going on in the town’s park, and city street work that includes laying down new grass and trees is almost complete.

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Along with the new road project, several businesses participated in a matching grant program that allowed them to spruce up their building façades.

“We got a new coat of paint and outdoor patio area,” Hill said about his business.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to mrkroschel@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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