Hwy 10 Back Open
Hwy 10 Back OpenPhoto: Video by nbc26.com
BRILLION, WI--A community, breathing a sigh of relief, after another Wisconsin highway project wraps up. Highway 10 near Brillion is back open to traffic after being closed for 7 months for improvements.
Many businesses along Highway 10 suffered a huge drop in customers because of the road closure, some losing nearly 70 percent of their clientele.
Now many are hoping business can pick back up, but not everyone is optimistic.
Finally back to business as usual at the Kwik Trip gas station off Highway 10 near Brillion. For months the Kwik Trip was literally locked in by the construction. To get to it you had to take a 20 minute detour.
"A lot of people just weren't coming here"said Kwik Trip store manager, Debbie Meier.
Business dropped to half and their diesel fuel sales stopped altogether. But now:
"We were doing the happy dance in the store. We have been waiting for it to open," said Meier.
The orange barrels are cleared and the Kwik Trip expects their customers will return.
"Everybody is ready to get back to business" said Meier.
Brillion city leaders say the project is worthwhile investment.
"It will provide a great thoroughfare for our community not only for our businesses but attracting new businesses as well" said Brillion city administrator Lori Gosz.
But not everyone is convinced.
"If it wasn't for the good people of Brillion, we wouldn't have made it" said Rudy's cafe owner, Martin Johnson.
Johnson says he doesn't know if his business can recoverafter months of construction. He already had to let go most of his staff.
"We've lost one ...two...three...four...five...six people" said Johnson.
Time will if Rudy's can survive the loss. For now, eeryone in the Brillion area is hoping they won't see another orange barrel for a while.
City leaders say there may be some confusion for drivers in the Brillion area because Highway 10 has gone from a two lane road to one with a center turn lane. The project cost seven million dollars.