Many residents on the east side are already starting to dread next year's construction season.
In the spring, Madison will tear up Williamson Street from Blair Street to the Yahara River, potentially causing months of headaches for residents, businesses and commuters. Ald. Marsha Rummel, who represents the district, fears for many of the businesses located along the commercial district.
"They will all struggle because at some point there will be one lane of traffic only," Rummel says. Both the small restaurants and coffee shops "that operate on really small margins," as well as larger ventures like the Willy Street Co-op, will have to figure out how to get deliveries in.
"I think they're all worried," Rummel says. "They all have unique situations that require unique solutions."
The city is holding an informational meeting on the project on Thursday, July 29, at 6:30 p.m. at the Research Products building, 210 S. Ingersoll St.
The Greater Williamson Area Business Association, known by the acronym GWABA, has just received a $5,000 grant from the city to hire a part-time liaison to help businesses deal with the project.
Donna Sheehan, GWABA president, says the job will be to regularly meet with businesses and take concerns to the contractor.
"There are some residents not even aware that this is going to take place," she says. "It's going to be major, major work."