Businesses hope Highway 14 construction won’t keep customers away

Businesses hope Highway 14 construction won’t keep customers away

A $10.4 million, months-long road project just started on a main road through Cross Plains, and despite detours, business owners said they are not seeing a major impact in sales.

Jodi’s Bar and Grill is on Main Street in Cross Plains, but instead of seeing the usual cars driving past, their view for the next couple of months will look more bare and rocky than usual.

“You worry every day, but it’s a day by day. Once they get down closer to us it might be a little more of a fear right in front of the building, but as far as now we keep our hopes up and wish for the best,” said Brenda Newman, manager at Jodi’s Bar and Grill.

As crews start an eight-month construction project on Highway 14 that was four years in the making, Newman is hoping to keep customers’ attention with daily specials and homemade pizza, the restaurant’s newest addition.

“They haven’t stopped coming in which is a good thing. They are supporting their locals. Without them, we don’t have anything. They take their turns making their rounds supporting different establishments. They want to support us,” Newman said.

The reconstruction of Highway 14 between County Road KP and Westview Road is shutting down traffic between county roads KP and P until mid-October. When all is said and done, the bumpy roads will be transformed into sleek streets, with new sidewalks, bike paths and utilities — a needed improvement the Village of Cross Plains hopes will increase access to businesses and buyers.

“We will have all the opportunities for people to drive through and look at cross plains and really enjoy it esthetically. But what that is going to do also is help develop the economy here in Cross Plains,” said Casey Peterson, president of the Chamber of Commerce.

Learning from other communities, the village has made a construction survival guide to direct residents through detours with as many signs as possible.

“There are a lot of signs that are up rerouting traffic and it’s really important as you go through. Because, we are Highway 14 and we do connect the western counties to Madison, we really want to make sure they are seeing the best routes,” Peterson said.