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In This Together case study - WIS 35 (Tower Ave.)
Superior, Douglas County


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Project information

NAPA Auto Parts said, "Business increased each year. We've added to our delivery staff." The Benna Ford manager said, "Sales were up 17 percent."

Many other business owners along the Tower Avenue (WIS 35) reconstruction project were just as positive about this two-year job, which began in April 1995 and finished in November 1996.

Although the project was messy and inconvenient, the business owners were cooperative. They kept a positive attitude, believing it would all be worth it. And they did everything possible to keep customers coming through their doors.

The Tower Avenue project was a $15 million effort that widened and improved more than four miles of four-lane highway through a growing commercial area in Superior.

The scenario of happy business owners didn't just happen. It took everyone's effort. In May 1994, WisDOT, the city of Superior and the Superior-Douglas Chamber of Commerce hosted an introductory meeting for the businesses that would be affected by the reconstruction. As a result, the business owners formed a Tower Avenue Promotion Committee to help minimize the impacts of construction.

Sixty-seven business owners joined the group. Each business contributed to an advertising fund that was used to purchase ads and promote "Tower Power," a promotion that awarded $250 worth of merchandise every two weeks to shoppers registered at participating Tower businesses. This group gave away $3,000 in October 1996 at a grand finale to encourage Twin Ports (Duluth, MN, and Superior, WI) residents to "Come see us now."

The businesses also ran many sales and special promotions to keep customers coming in. Campbell's Building Materials and Do-It Center launched a Hard Hat Club. Anyone registering for the club would get a real hard hat and discounts on future purchases.

WisDOT kept the public informed through a comprehensive media program. Project managers and the Superior public works director were scheduled on every available media talk show about a month before the project began each year. Project updates were issued weekly to the media, which often initiated news and feature stories. These updates were also faxed to the Tower Avenue businesses so they could share with their employees and customers what would be happening in the construction zone the following week.

Because the spirit of cooperation prevailed throughout the project, the Tower Avenue businesses hosted a thank-you picnic in August 1996 for WisDOT staff, contractors and subcontractors, city officials, Chamber staff, and anyone contributing to the project.

Many people contributed to the success of the Tower Avenue reconstruction project, and they all shared in the feeling of success.

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Last modified: November 6, 2012

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