UPDATE: Waunakee construction to end

By: Max Hess - Email
By: Max Hess - Email
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UPDATED Thursday, September 19, 2014 -- 10:00 p.m.

Traffic in Waunakee is starting to look normal again after months of downtown road construction.

Many shop owners in the area complained about slow business during the time of construction, like Waunakee Furniture ETC owner Sandy Taylor.

Although she says it was a rough summer, she thinks it was well worth it.

"The beautification project is much better than it ever was in the past with the light fixtures to our new benches that we're going to have installed... everything looks beautiful and its going to be something that Waunakee residents and businesses can be proud of."

The city engineer says the construction is expected to be completed in full by Friday afternoon.

The city will celebrate the finishing of the construction with a "pavement dance" on October 18.

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UPDATED Wednesday, August 20, 2014 -- 10:00 p.m.

You wouldn't think chalk and construction go hand in hand, but at Village Park in Waunakee today, many would tell you differently -- like Sue McDade.

"We're celebrating the nearing end of construction on Main Street, so this is a great way to get families together and just have a great night."

McDade is referencing the "Chalk Walk", Waunakee's own version of a color run.

NBC15 has followed construction in Waunakee all summer long, ever since business owners complained it was hurting their income.

Now that construction is coming to a close, and it's a reason for people who live nearby to celebrate.

McDade said they chose the location for the event closely.

"We have a lot of other parks throughout the village, and we could have selected a park that didn't have construction right next to it, but we wanted to celebrate close to Main Street," she explained.

There was food, drink, music and even a free movie -- making it the perfect day for people like Gregson Collins and Isaac Schaff, both 11.

"We did the chalk run an in Waunakee and it was really fun!," they said.

Both live in town, and say they are glad the construction is finally over.

Being covered in chalk wasn't a problem for any of them.

"[We're] just having a bunch of fun and just getting splattered and getting messy," Isaac said.

The change in Waunakee is evident. The last time NBC15 covered the story, there was no traffic at all on the village's main intersection; now cars a frequent visitor.

It's a change many were waiting for, and a change that is finally almost here.

The construction is expected to be finished by September 17.
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Posted Friday, July 18, 2014 -- 10:00 p.m.

It's been a slow summer for Joe Endres.

"It's bad," he says as he looks at an empty beer garden.

Joe is a manager at Mojo's in Waunakee -- usually a popular place.

"People just aren't venturing down here," Joe explained, blaming construction.

There's lots of it.

A construction project that started in May, with the intention of renewing all four roadways leading to one of the biggest intersections in Waunakee, has really put a damper on the numbers for businesses.

Just down the street from Mojo's, Sandy Taylor who owns Waunakee Furniture ETC remains optimistic.

Sandy even says that the construction causes less traffic, making it easier to get to Waunakee.

"It's easier to get here now more than ever."

Plus she said there are tons of deals to take advantage of.

"I know a lot of our local businesses here in town are having specials so it is a better time to shop locally."

Sandy made it clear that she is not denying construction has an impact, but the key is preparedness.

"We need to prepare ourselves for what may come, and it has come."

It "has come" for Sandy just as much for Joe and the rest of the local businesses.

For all of them the goal is for summer to end and the roadways to open back up -- until then, the struggle continues.


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