Published: May 29, 2014 1:00 AM EDT

One of southwest Florida's most scenic parks is not looking so pretty.

As crews tear up Gilchrist Park in Punta Gorda, people are getting upset that it's taking longer than planned.

"It's a nuisance," said Julie Conte, who enjoys a walk through the park every day.

"They took out some big, beautiful Washingtonian palms and took them to the dump," said William Mottinger, who lives across the street from the park.

Mark Gering, Punta Gorda's city engineer, says Punta Gorda's historic district is going to be much more pleasant once the multimillion-dollar drainage project is done.
"The City of Punta Gorda is historically known to flood every time we have an afternoon rain," Gering said. "That was because the pipes were way too small for the area. So what we've done is we've enlarged the pipes."

FEMA gave the city most of the money needed to complete the project.

Engineers hoped to finish by mid-June, but now, crews say it's looking more like mid-July.

Gering says rain and weekly events in Gilchrist Park have delayed work.

"They had to continue with our quite festive atmosphere here during the spring," Gering said. "All of the events were scheduled as normal and we've had to work around it."

Residents admit that the benefits of the project are worth the nuisance.

"If this relieves (flooding), the inconvenience is worth it," said Sharon Goodwyne.

"It should really do the job, what they're doing," Mottinger said.