3rd street construction upsets businesses - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

3rd street construction upsets businesses

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by Colby Robertson

WAUSAU (WAOW) -- After a two year delay and a lot of support from city leaders, Wausau's 3rd street construction is all finished up downtown. But across the tracks, the construction is just beginning.

The $1.3 million project started Thursday. According to the project leader with the DOT it's a city project with federal funding. He says the city designer sent out letters and held the appropriate hearings and meetings, but business owners say they had no idea it was even happening and they were literally blind-sided by the bull dozers.

On the inside, it looks like business as usual at Kregers Bakery in Wausau. But outside, on third street, it's a nightmare.

Co-owner Tina Kreger says, "Our customers can't get here, they don't know how to get here because nothing was talked about."

Workers up and down 3rd street say they never saw this coming.

Glass Hat bar manager Christy Sann says, "We weren't given any notice. We weren't told all the details. Someone from city council was supposed to come down and explain everything to us. That never happened. No notices in the mail."

Instead they're left in the dust and left to figure out how to manage business during the three months of construction.

Sann says, "It seems that they just didn't care about us. They did a lot of advertising and a big hoopla re touring instead of detouring downtown, but they haven't done anything to help us."

But for this bar, it's not just a torn up road and a big inconvenience it's a slap in the face to close the entire road from Grant Street to Bridge.

Sann says, "The main thing they don't understand is they're blocking off vehicle traffic on both ends and the only thing we have to rely on is 5th street and it's a one way off of Bridge Street, so it cuts our traffic by 3/4's so it's really going to hurt us."

The signs imply the road is closed to everyone when in fact businesses are open and just crossing their fingers customers will stay loyal.

Kreger says, "I'm nervous, I'm nervous for my front retail business, but we're going to do everything we can. If we have to put a few people on summer vacation, that's what we'll have to do."

Kregers Bakery is offering construction specials throughout the time. They will also put up signs directing you to parking on 2nd street. For the Glass Hat and P.I. you can take 5th Street south and cut over on the road near the bar.

Online Reporter: Colby Robertson

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