A PEEL Street restaurateur claims he's had to lay off three staff since multi-million-dollar roadworks began near his business.
For the first time in his tenure, Square Man Inn owner Rob Breese was forced to close the doors on a Sunday after a water main was accidentally ruptured during ongoing works on the Jewry Street bridge duplication.
It was an unforeseen setback, but Mr Breese said the business had been suffering since January as the bridge construction got rolling.
"Our turnover has halved since the road blockages went up and since the big fence was put up," Mr Breese said.
"Since the construction's begun, we've had to put off two waitresses and a chef."
Not opening on Sunday was another hit for the restaurant, which usually does about "a quarter of its week's trade" on that day, according to the owner.
Mr Breese said it was getting "tougher and tougher" and wanted people to know the restaurant was still open and serving meals seven days a week.
In a written statement, the council's director of regional services, Peter Resch, said a main was "clipped" accidentally but the premises' water service was fully restored by 11.30am on Sunday.
Compensation for the lost day of trading was not under consideration by Tamworth Regional Council.
"There has been no discussion regarding compensation," he said.
"Damage to services can sometimes occur on major projects on rare occasions where infrastructure is not located where records indicate they should be.
"Council fixed the damage within the requested timeframe and will not be considering compensation at this stage."
The restaurant owners also aired concerns it would lose a number of parking spaces once the project was completed, a claim refuted by Mr Resch.
"The designated car parking spaces for the restaurant are in the car park that they share with the community college, that is subject to a lease agreement with the owner of the premises," he said.
The bridge duplication will be completed in May, while the intersection upgrade will be finished in September.
The construction of the second Jewry Street bridge was funded with a $3.5 million grant from the federal government, while the state government chipped in $6 million for the intersection upgrade.