Many highway construction projects have a design phase of five or
more years. This is the time when WisDOT engineers, in cooperation
with local government officials, plan the project, define what will
be accomplished, study available alternatives, evaluate community
impacts, and design the project's plans.
Throughout the design phase, WisDOT holds periodic meetings with
local officials and citizens to hear their suggestions and concerns.
By the time construction crews come onsite, all of the design
decisions have been made. Therefore, it is important for the
business community to get involved early in the design phase and
stay involved during construction.
The key to survival is bringing businesses and affected
stakeholders together early and working together to survive
economically during construction. A local chamber of commerce or
business association often becomes the focal point as businesses get
A leader can be identified to represent the business community to
keep business concerns in mind, channel questions or suggestions to
WisDOT, and carry information back to the businesses. Sometimes, a
smaller group or committee is formed to specifically represent those
who are most impacted by the project.
Working collaboratively as a group has advantages. Together, a
business community can accomplish more than its individual members
could on their own. Resources and ideas can be pooled for the
group's maximum benefit, saving time and money.
However, sometimes preparing for construction means planning to
move off site for awhile (such as motor vehicle dealers) or shutting
down for some long needed repairs or remodeling. Ultimately,
businesses need to look at their marketing strategy and what they
would like to accomplish.
A chamber of commerce is commonly the
organization to bring affected businesses together. Some
communities have Main Street programs to revitalize their
One community's Main Street program director served as
the liaison between businesses and WisDOT. They formed a
special committee to coordinate its promotion. Sometimes, a
new organization or association needs to be formed.
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firstname.lastname@example.org Last modified: November 6, 2012