An equipment malfunction caused water damage at the new Saint John Law Courts building at Peel Plaza in Saint John. (CBC)

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure says it will take another two to three months before the new Saint John Law Courts building at Peel Plaza will be open.

The new building was supposed to open early in January but it suffered extensive water damage on New Year’s Eve after a pipe ruptured.

The provincial government made alternative arrangements for cases scheduled in the new building.

The $42-million Peel Plaza project has been a controversy for several years in Saint John.

The complex also includes the new headquarters for the Saint John Police, which opened last November.

The lengthy construction period also affected nearby buildings.

For two years, the Saint John Arts Centre was unable to use its front doors, which were blocked by the construction of Peel Plaza.

Now that the construction has wrapped up, the 109-year-old Carnegie building was given permission to use its main doors again on Friday.

Bernard Cormier, Saint John’s cultural affairs officer, said the public has been forced to use alternate entrances during the construction phase.

"We didn't think it would take this long. But despite the length of time that the general public has not been able to use  the front doors, we have had tremendous support from the general public, under some trying circumstances," Cormier said.