Appleton looks to sweeten construction project

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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Drivers in Appleton are about to be inconvenienced as the city begins a two-year road construction and infrastructure improvement project.

The work on South Oneida Street from the foot of the Skyline Bridge to Valley Road is already underway. And now the City of Appleton is working to sweeten the deal for drivers.

Drivers along South Oneida Street should get used to seeing orange barrels as the city is kicking off a two-year construction project to fix the road and improve the infrastructure underneath it. And since the project is going to cause detours and inconveniences for drivers, the city is taking a proactive approach thanking drivers for their patience.

"Here's a brochure that shows the different phases of the project and some cookies for you for your patience," said City of Appleton Director of Public Works Paula Vandehey as she offered the information to a driver as part of awareness campaign.

The cookie drop, as the campaign is called, is a sweet approach for what could be a sour experience for drivers in Appleton.

According to Vandehey, "We just wanted to thank everyone for their patience and let them know, that once the project is done it will be amazing."

City staff members stopped drivers during the morning commute on Wednesday to educate them about the South Oneida Street transformation project that will lead to road closures and detours during the next two years.

David Churchill is with the Freedom Center Food Pantry, located in the construction zone. About the cookie drop, he says, "We're kind of in the middle of it, down at Freedom Center Food Pantry, and they're working really well with us, like this, I mean, you can't beat this, what a blessing."

While the cookies handed out were meant to be an extra treat, the brochure given to drivers outlined the project and the road closures motorists can expect.

It also reiterated while detours will happen during the construction it will be business as usual at the storefronts along South Oneida.

Vandehey adds, "You can get to the businesses that are in this area. You might not be able to take the route that your normally take, but you can get there and we just want to make sure that people continue to visit those businesses."

Since the project is slated for two years, the city says that drivers can expect other special events out along the route as the city continues to thank drivers for their patience.

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