Verona Road work nears completion

Verona Road businesses most excited for end of construction
Verona Road work nears completion

On Verona Road, how long the last nine months have seemed depends on where you are sitting. 

For road construction crews, they have squeezed an enormous amount of work into what must seem a short period of time.  For businesses along the construction route, this may have been their longest nine months.

“It is painful.  It is still painful,” said Dan Finke, owner of Nakoma Plaza Auto. 

The auto repair business has been in Finke’s family for 49 years.  With the Verona Road work going on right out his front door, Finke saw fewer and fewer customer come through that door.

“It got real bad here the last couple months.  We had customers that parked at Home Depot because they had no clue how to get here, and some days there was no way to get here, which was not part of the bargain,” said Finke.  “I had numerous conversations with people that completely avoided this area, and that did not make me happy to hear.”

Work on this phase of the Verona Road project is expected to wrap up for the winter in the coming weeks.  What construction crews managed to do in a nine-month window of time was a challenge.

“We did start at the end of February in the snow.  We had a couple snowstorms there, and now at the end of November we’re ending in the snow.  So it was a very aggressive schedule.  We’re happy that we got what we needed to do and we got it into a serviceable mode for the winter,” said Chris Fredrick, construction project manager for Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Construction crews will need to return to the area in the spring to complete work on frontage roads.  Landscaping and pavement markings on those frontage roads will be completed at that time.  But looking back at what was completed puts the work into perspective.

“Verona Road got reconstructed for six-tenths of a mile.  We built some very substantial structures with bridges and retaining walls.  We also have reconstructed all of the frontage roads adjacent to it, and it was a very aggressive endeavor,” said Fredrick.

Now, as the finishing touches are being done on the project for the year, area businesses are able to see the positives in the project.

“It is nicer.  I mean once it is done, flowing, and the barrels are gone, it will be nice,” said Finke.