College Avenue construction about to get underway

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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Parts of College Avenue in downtown Appleton are set to close starting on Monday. It's all part of phase two of a crosswalk improvement project the city started last year.

Sign board announces road closing (WBAY photo)

Running through mid-May, the project will replace the crosswalks on College Avenue at Division, Superior and Walnut streets.

The signs are up, and soon those who use College Avenue through downtown Appleton will have to find another way around. Starting on Monday, parts of College Avenue will be closed as the city repairs a second set of deteriorating crosswalks along the Ave.

According to Chad Doran, Appleton's communications coordinator, "Just like last year, we'll close one block at a time on the west end of College Avenue to replace the crosswalks that are actually on College Avenue to a different style that we hope will last a little bit longer than the previous ones did."

The first crosswalks to be replaced are at Division Street, right near the Fox Cities PAC. From there, the work will move to the east.

Businesses along the avenue are concerned what closing, even just one block at a time, will mean.

Lisa McGinnis is the manager at J. Hawkinson Clothiers. She says, "We've been struggling because it's been the worst winter ever, and our customers have a hard time getting to us, and once they get down here, there's nowhere to park. They're tearing down the ramp behind us, and it's just been struggle, and now to have the main road closed it's just going to be really tough."

Mary Kelley is the owner of Crazy Sweet. She feels like the construction hits keep coming, and now with this project she's encouraging people to continue to visit downtown businesses. "Just use Lawrence or use another alternative. I know that sign is scary. Don't be scared. Come down here. We're all going to be open," says Kelley.

Even with blocks at a time of College Avenue closing, the city doesn't expect the project to have a negative impact on traffic downtown. With a completion date of mid-May, traffic will be fully flowing again before summer.