PADDOCK LAKE — The Village of Paddock Lake is in the final stretch of its reconstruction process along WIS 50, but business owners say those construction barrels are costing them.
At Paddock Lake Bait and Tackle Shop, the business is open despite construction right outside their window. Owner Tiffani Rogness said since the construction started, their sales in bait and tackle have dropped by 48 percent.
“Bait and tackle has been way down because the boats cannot get in our driveway, and it’s very frustrating,” said Tiffani.
Just down the road at Antonia’s Pancake House, owner Rufino Ortiz said they too are feeling the financial impact, with sales dropping about 50 percent.
“It’s affected us more than we expected. The entrances have been difficult for customers to come in,” said Rufino.
Highway 50 in Paddock Lake is down to a single lane in both directions due to construction between 256th Avenue and 236th Avenue. According to WisDOT, the $13 million project includes upgrades to infrastructure below the surface. The DOT said they worked with the village to replace their dated water mains along with their large pressure gas main under Highway 50.
Sidewalk ramps will be improved to meet ADA standards. Traffic signals will be replaced with monotubes at WIS 83 and 246th Avenue, along with turn lane improvements. The DOT also said the roadway was old and in need of repairs. Some residents who live nearby say it’s been an inconvenience, but the workers have been working day and night trying to get the job done.
“I don’t feel like there’s anything that I can say bad because they are really doing the best that they possibly can,” said one resident.
And this is not the only section of WIS 50 being replaced. Governor Tony Evers just approved a $4 million reconstruction project of WIS 50 in the Town of Wheatland, from County W to the Wisconsin Central Railroad, east of 317th.
Business owners in Paddock Lake are hoping the roadways will be back open before the busy holiday season. Until then, they are reminding the public that the small businesses along Highway 50 are ready for customers and in need of support.
Owners also said they are thankful to the loyal customers who have supported them during this time.
“He’s very proud to have his customers because more than 50% of the customers are from here, and he has no way of paying it back to them other than being grateful,” said Rufino.
The DOT plans to open the road in early December.