Monroe Street construction scheduled to begin Monday

MADISON (WKOW) --- A major renovation of one of Madison’s busiest roads is scheduled to start Monday. That could mean headaches for drivers and businesses along Monroe Street.

When a road construction project is announced, store owners in the area of the demolition generally cringe at the idea.

But that's not the case for Zip Dang owner Natalie Bass.

Her boutique shop is on the stretch of Monroe Street where the construction project is scheduled to begin. Crews will start digging up a section of the busy road -- part of a larger project that will extend from Odana Road to Regent Street.

The first phase of the project will be a short stretch of Monroe Street, from Chapman to Woodrow Street, while utility crews install underground gas lines.

But Bass isn't in panic mood about the possible slow down in business.

“As a business owner, obviously it's kind of terrifying if you don't have things in place and are in a weird place with your business. If you're in an unsure place, it could be a scary thing,” she said.

However, Bass said there is some fear of lost revenue among some of her fellow business owners.

“They think that it's going to be horrible.”

Richard Heinemann lives in the area and walks his dog along Monroe Street often.

“It will be a disruption to their business. And I know that's a concern, especially these days. But I hope the end product will be something that will enhance the neighborhood. So that will benefit shop owners,” Heinemann said.

Although the construction will be a traffic nightmare for drivers, Bass thinks the renovation is well overdue.

“Since we came in about 7 years ago, things have already changed quite a bit. And I think it's good for Monroe Street to have some new change and new things happening.”

Metro buses will continue to run on Monroe Street. However, some stops may be moved or closed at various times. Drivers will also have to deal with single lane traffic at times during the construction.

One side of the sidewalks along Monroe Street will be open at all times.

The first phase of the project should be completed around mid-March. The entire project should be wrapped up by mid-November.

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