WIS 38 in Racine was reconstructed from Taurus Drive to Rapids Drive during the 2004 construction season. The $1.3 million project included replacing culverts and concrete pavement as well as making safety improvements at intersections. With traffic restricted to one lane in each direction during the project, communication was essential between the affected businesses and WisDOT.
Before the project started, the contractor met personally with business owners on the route to discuss the project schedule and impacts. The business representatives shared concerns about keeping driveways open and entrances accessible, and keeping construction equipment out of business parking spots.
Construction crews were able to accommodate the owners' requests and the contractor communicated with the businesses regularly to inform them of project updates and make sure their needs were being met.
One restaurant owner gave the project manager several menus, which were posted in the field office and distributed to crew members. The restaurant took phone orders for lunch from the crews, adding to the business received from regular walk-in customers. He also used his existing business sign to advertise "construction specials" and created additional signs with a construction theme to draw attention to his business.
Overall, good communication kept the project on track and the businesses on top.