Phase Two of Belknap Highway Reconstruction Begins In Superior

Businesses brace for slump during Belknap construction project

SUPERIOR, Wisc. – Phase two of the Belknap Highway 2 Reconstruction Project in Superior is now underway.

The $23 million project includes transforming the center section from John Avenue to Birch Avenue.

Michael DeMeo has owned Big Apple Bagel in Superior for five years.

Last year when the first phase of this project happened he saw a 50 percent decrease in his business.

“But it did spring back after the July 4 holiday,” said DeMeo.

He says although the construction will likely be a huge hit to his business he’s relying on loyal customers to keep coming in.

“We’re actually introducing a new sandwich at the end of the month, which will hopefully be driving some people in. we are also doing some special offers for the construction workers,” said DeMeo.

Crews were out installing temporary signal lights and construction zone warning signs.

On Tuesday comes the single lane closures so contractors can begin sawing concrete panels into smaller pieces.

“Last year we did basically the same process just on the two ends of the project,” said Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WISDOT) Construction Project Manager Brendan Dirkes. “This year we’ll be doing the same types of work just in the center section.”

One business owner told me just keeping doors open during this project will be tough, but others are hopeful this project will pay dividends down the road.

Belknap is one of the main tourism strips in Superior.

“It needs to be updated. It has to happen. It’s going to improve property values. It’s going to improve what we can do in the city,” said DeMeo.

Belknap is a busy street in Superior. On any given day anywhere from 8,000–18,000 cars travel on this road, so you can expect drivers and business to be inconvenienced.

WISDOT keeps the public and business owners in the loop with meetings every other week with the project schedule and updates.

“You might have to look to find an entrance, things will be changing constantly,” said Dirkes. “All businesses will have access but it may change from week to week or day to day.”

The anticipated completion date for this phase of the project is this Oct. There may be additional work in the spring of 2019.

For more information on the Belknap Highway 2 Reconstruction Project click here.

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