Not a boon for all: New St. Croix bridge cripples some Wisconsin businesses

That is as a result of his B&L Liquor retailer has seen an eighty five % drop in enterprise because the bridge opened Aug. 2, Severson says.

The Stillwater Raise Bridge that led drivers to the Wisconsin city of Houlton has been closed and visitors rerouted to the brand new bridge, turning his as soon as-busy freeway right into a lifeless-finish road.

“That bridge might be going to take me beneath. That’s what I’m in worry of,” stated Severson, seventy four.

The brand new bridge, which crosses the river at Oak Park Heights, is making lots of people completely happy.

Commuters are shaving minutes off their drive, bicyclists love the brand new path over the river, and companies applaud the top of visitors jams in downtown Stillwater. Some Wisconsin property house owners say it is going to make their lives simpler and increase their property values.

However Houlton, pop. 386, is the place that progress has bypassed.

Companies that when had an excellent location on busy Wisconsin 35 discover themselves gasping for air because the bridge has strangled their visitors.

The visitors from the brand new bridge travels on Wisconsin sixty four, passing over the previous Wisconsin 35 with no entry ramps. From that time, Wisconsin 35 continues north solely to cease abruptly after two miles.

Enterprise on the space’s solely comfort retailer and fuel station, Marathon Fuel, has plummeted, based on clerk Roxy Rockwood.

She observed the change the day after the carry bridge closed and the brand new bridge opened. “It was dramatic,” stated Rockwood, who’s apprehensive about dropping her job. “We nonetheless get enterprise from locals, however not from anybody driving via.”

 The drop in visitors, nevertheless, has not been particularly dangerous for the development, boating and residential-heating companies within the space.

Terry Smith says his enterprise has truly been helped by the bridge. He owns Anderson Heating, and despite the fact that it is now on a lifeless-finish road, it by no means trusted excessive visitors circulate.

“Nobody comes right here and outlets,” stated Smith. As an alternative, he dispatches service vans across the space, they usually have a a lot simpler time attending to Stillwater with the brand new bridge.

“Our service to clients has improved tremendously,” stated Smith.

At Bridgeport Marine, worker Brian McCurdy stated enterprise doesn’t rely upon impulse purchases of passing drivers. “Anybody can see the visitors going by is means down,” he stated. “I feel enterprise is down a bit bit. It is onerous to inform.”

One mile away, it isn’t onerous for Severson to see the distinction. He has owned B&L Liquor for 30 years, and he is not positive if he’ll make it to 31.

“From the very first day, everybody went round…

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