East Washington Avenue Construction Project Begins

By: Zac Schultz
By: Zac Schultz

Madison: The snow is melting in Madison, a sure sign of the start of Wisconsin's second season: construction.

Backhoes are already busy on the mile and a half stretch of East Washington Avenue between Highway 30 and Thier Road.

"That construction will cost about $11.4 million."

Rob Phillips is the Deputy City Engineer on this project. He says the project will look similar to last year when crews tore up East Wash closer to the Capitol. The only difference is the presence of the Stoughton Road intersection will make for some heavier traffic delays.

"We expect a little bit more delay during the morning and evening peak hours at that intersection."

Phillips says he hopes motorists will try to avoid the area altogether.

"They can use Hwy. 30 and the interstate to get completely around the construction zone."

The city is working hard to keep access for businesses along the strip.

"The city and the construction company have assured us they're going to leave the driveways open as much as possible," says CV Pros G.M. Ed Graz.

And if the driveway isn't convenient, customers can always take a different route. The city is using alternate access signs to help customers find the back way into businesses along East Wash.

Pedros Restaurante already has a map up in their lobby on how to navigate the construction.

"The biggest thing is word of mouth, communication between management and Pedro's customers. That is the big key," says G.M. Brett Richman.

Businesses have to work hard to keep customers because they know they'll lose some automatically.

"We're always hoping sales won't be down too much, but we are expecting it to be down a little bit. There are some people who just won't travel to where it's difficult to get in and out of," says Graz.

The entire East Washington reconstruction project is expected to be finished in 2009.

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