De Pere roundabout project to close Main Avenue

DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) -- Plans are underway to build another roundabout in De Pere which will close off a main road for two months this summer.

Right now, the intersection of Main Avenue and Lawrence Drive, just east of I-41, is controlled by a stoplight.

This new construction would change that, adding a roundabout near multiple businesses, including Festival Foods, Starbucks, McDonald's and Burger King.

“Every time you're at a signal and you're stopped, and there's nobody going in the other direction … Think about it. If it was a roundabout, you'd be moving through,” says Eric Rakers, city engineer for the City of De Pere.

Rakers says the city is moving forward with plans for the $1.86 million roundabout project, to keep traffic flowing and make busy intersections safer.

“We are eliminating four direct access points on the Main Avenue, and we're just going to have the one drive or one street to the north, being Lawrence Drive,” he says. “All the future access will come off of that point.”

Construction will start up on Lawrence Drive in April. Beginning June 18, a large portion of Main Avenue leading up to I-41 will be closed off for construction for two months.

A few dozen businesses line that portion of the street – some whose employees told Action 2 News the construction may affect their customer flow.

“Two months in the summer, is huge. We are very busy in the summer,” says Hayley Ingrum, a stylist at Cost Cutters on Main Avenue. Then she lets out a long sigh and says, "It stinks. It's just going to be frustration.”

“We will have access open to the businesses. We will put up message boards,” Rakers says. “Obviously there’s going to be an inconvenience to the businesses, but we’re going to do our best to minimize that.”

But Ingrum says such a change in traffic pattern will affect more than just her business.

“Having the road closed, it's going to affect all of the businesses,” she says. “From the grocery store, from Dunkin' Donuts, to our salon. And if nobody's coming into our salon, then our salon's not making any money, and that makes for a very slow day.”

From June 18 to August 18, the detour will be in place.

It will reroute traffic coming off I-41 onto Mid Valley Road over to Grant Street, on to 9th Street, before connecting back to Main Avenue.

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