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