Construction soon to start on the south side of Capitol Square has some business owners concerned for potential negative impacts, as previous construction on the north half completed earlier this year led to congestion and limited access to businesses.
To address community member and business owner concerns, city officials held a meeting Thursday to get neighborhood input and address some of those concerns.
During reconstruction on the north side, many business owners and leaders cited the noise and debris as a reason for why they received less visitors to their establishments.
Tiffany Kenney, executive director for Madison’s Central Business Improvement District, said The Wisconsin Historical Museum gift shop, located on the north half of Capitol Square, saw a 40 percent revenue decrease during the north half reconstruction.
Restaurants in that area also have reported seeing a 25 percent decrease in revenue, Kenney added.
The project’s standard work hours are estimated to be between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. For Park Hotel general manager George Wiesner, the 7 a.m hours are not business friendly.
And pushing later into the evening negatively affects restaurants, project manager Jim Wolfe said.
Despite some minor inconveniences, the reconstruction will not affect the Saturday Farmers’ Market and should be completed before Taste of Madison in 2017.
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Since reconstruction will go through the summer, Wolfe said Concerts on the Square will likely be moved to the Capitol lawn near North Hamilton Street.
The project will mainly focus on replacing and improving street infrastructure and utilities, Wolfe said. It will cover South Carroll Street, East Main Street, West Main Street and South Pinckney Street.
The reconstruction will remove and replace antiquated sanitary sewers and water mains.
Historical records suggest that some of the existing sanitary sewers and water mains date back to 1882.
The streets will also receive a makeover. The project is slated to replace the curb and concrete pavement. Despite the revamp, the streets will remain the same width and with the same lane configuration.
In addition to the infrastructure improvements, the project will coordinate with Madison Gas & Electric and AT&T for new gas main and electrical work.
The project will also be making sidewalk improvements to West Washington Avenue, Wolfe added.
“We want to leave [some sidewalks] open so we can provide access to business buildings during construction,” Wolfe said.
Reconstruction will begin March 27, 2017.