OCONOMOWOC — According to several Oconomowoc businesses
in the Highway 67 corridor, the reconstruction of the
highway is having a negative impact on sales and
A meeting organized by the Wisconsin Department of
Transportation, the city of Oconomowoc and the
Oconomowoc Chamber of Commerce convened June 26 to
discuss possible solutions to the problem.
Business owners complained of a drop in sales,
particularly during lunch hours. Tari Farrell of Quiznos
Subs, 1400C Summit Ave., said she has been going so far
as telling construction workers she will deliver to
their work trucks if they need it.
Some of the proposed solutions include punch cards for
customer loyalty, increasing social media presence,
increasing communication between businesses and
Chamber of Commerce Director Katie Miller said teamwork
and creative ideas are important to keep customers aware
of changes and to lure them to Highway 67 businesses
despite the construction.
Before being steered into a discussion about marketing
solutions, business owners complained about the lack of
signage, and asked WisDOT representatives to help them
come up with solutions so that proper directional signs
can be placed where drivers can see them.
Economic Development Director Bob Duffy said there are
challenges in placing signs that might distract drivers,
interrupt construction or be a safety risk.
“The city does allow temporary signage,” Duffy said.
“The situation you run into as it relates to signage is
that is our ordinance. The Department of Transportation
also has policies related to that.”
Lisa Baudoin, co-owner of Books & Company, 1039 Summit
Ave in the Whitman Park Shopping Center, asked that
WisDOT be lenient and help search for solutions like an
easement to get signs up as soon as possible.
Cynthia De Vor, a consultant on the project, said one
thing is certain: There will be an attractive new road
with better access when the project is completed.
A long way to go
The project is slated to take two years. It will include
improved interstate exit ramps, new pavement and better
pedestrian and bicycle access. It will cost about $34
Project managers said the traffic flow has to adjust
according to the work and tweaks are constantly being
made to try to mitigate long waits or confusing turns.
For information on the project and to sign up for
call the DOT at 262-548-8759.