The city has blocked the corner of State Street and Harwood Avenue in the heart of the Village to rebuild the intersection and add new crosswalks, sidewalks ramps and landscaping, said Bob Kelly of the city engineering department.
Signs indicating construction ahead will be placed at the corner of State Street and Wauwatosa Avenue, for traffic from the east, and at State and Harmonee Avenue for traffic from the west, Kelly said. The businesses in and near the intersection will continue to be accessible.
The project is designed to improve safety and to better mark pedestrian crossing points across State Street, where crossing on foot is not always easy, said Jim Plaisted, executive director of the Village Business Improvement District. The project, costing $62,213, is part of the city's master plan. Gleason Construction is the contractor.
The street was blocked Monday, and will continue to be blocked during construction, which will last two to three weeks, Bill Wehrley, city engineer, said.
Pleistad said signs indicating that businesses are open will be posted.
"It'll be more work for people to get here, for sure," said Linda Burg, owner of The Little Read Book, at 7603 W. State St. "But Underwood is open, so if you wanted to come to this part of the Village (from the west) you can make a big loop (down Wauwatosa Avenue) by Starbucks, and if you're coming from the east on State, there's still parking on the street."
Burg said when the project is done pedestrian access will be easier.
"It's always been a really bad corner," Burg said. "Coming out of the Chancery parking lot (next to her business), it's almost a dead corner there, and people go much too fast. It's not pedestrian-friendly. This'll slow traffic down, which will be good."
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