OTTAWA -- For Elgin Street business owners and residents, the long wait is over.

"It's so exciting and it's about time, and it's a perfect time of year. It's a Christmas miracle," said Tara Porter with Pure Kitchen on Elgin.

The major downtown street is reopening to vehicle traffic Monday, nearly a year after most of the street closed for construction.

The street has been completely closed between Nepean and Catherine streets since January for an extensive renewal project. Part of the street was also closed from Nepean to Laurier Avenue.

Elgin Street's reopening will be a relief for area businesses. Several merchants have said the closure has affected their bottom line.

The newly reopened street is down to one lane in each direction and has much wider sidewalks, among other changes.

OC Transpo routes 5, 14 and 114 will also return to Elgin Street after being temporarily detoured during the closure.

Side streets that had been converted to two-way streets will revert to one-way.

Work will resume on Elgin early next year, with crews connecting underground utilities to properties and removing hydro poles along the west side of Elgin Street.

In the spring, crews will lay asphalt, landscape and install public art.