MINNEAPOLIS – A new ad campaign posted by the city around Nicollet Mall says the construction will be “substantially complete” by November this year.

But a lot of folks are confused at what the construction industry phrase really means. Are we talking bottom-of-the-ninth and two outs complete? The cake is baked but needs frosting complete? The email is written; you just have to click send complete?

“Substantially complete essentially means that by November the project will be done,” said Leah Wong, vice president of external communications for the Minneapolis Downtown Council and downtown improvement district.

“Barricades will be down and people will be able to come back and enjoy Nicollet. There will be a couple of trees and a few things that will get done in the spring, but really, from the public’s perspective everything will be done and be able to enjoy the mall in November.”

The Nicollet rehab project, which started in July of 2015, is on budget and on time, according to Wong.

She says the city recognizes the frustration many have felt with the ongoing construction, and their new ad campaign takes that into consideration with a little humor.

The “substantially complete” sign is one of seven creative concepts to be unveiled each month before November. Another sign to be posted later reads “We’re not out of the woods yet. We still have 244 trees to put in . . . Substantially planted November 2017.”

“We wanted to kind of let people know that we hear you and we know there are some challenges and we know there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Wong.

Brian Johnston, the manager of The Local pub and restaurant on Nicollet, says business has certainly been hurt by the two-year construction.

“We really just want the patio open and the street open, and that will be substantial enough for us,” said Johnston.