Fitchburg businesses lack accessibility due to construction

The city of Fitchburg is converting the intersection of Fitchrona and Nesbitt Roads into a roundabout to alleviate the traffic.

“The roundabout just provided better efficiencies for traffic, lower accident rates and reduced the long-term effect of the stacking of cars in the area,” William Balke, senior transportation engineer for the city of Fitchburg, said.

The construction has closed surrounding roads, limiting access to local businesses.

“Store traffic, I mean, it’s been OK,” Judy Cottrell, owner of Bavaria Sausage, said. “We get a lot of the tourists coming in versus the regulars who don’t want to brave Verona Road or Nesbitt Road.”

The construction also forced Cottrell to lose three parking stalls and three pine trees, which she calls the hardest part.

Across the way, It’s Your Party is having trouble getting into their parking lot each day.

“It wasn’t a lot of forewarning of how it was going to impact us, so I think it could have been explained a little bit better,” owner Betsy Jenkins said.

Jenkins said the construction is financially affecting her business negatively.

“We normally have a sale in September, a big warehouse sale here on the corner, lots of advertising several months prior, people drive by seeing it,” Jenkins said. “I don’t think we can have it this year or we might have to postpone it.”

Balke said the city is working with the Verona Business Coalition to provide assistance for advertising through additional signage in the area during the construction.

Both business owners are looking forward to the end of the construction. Cottrell said she thinks the roundabout will benefit the busy road.

“We think it is going to help,” Cottrell said. “It will hopefully keep things moving.”

The city of Fitchburg said the project is on track to finish by Oct. 2.

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