Chippewa Falls businesses ready for roundabout opening - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Chippewa Falls businesses ready for roundabout opening

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Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - Here's a good sign for businesses in Chippewa Falls, they're seeing fewer orange signs and cones. As of Tuesday morning, traffic is now running on a brand new roundabout. It's at the intersection of South Bridge Street and West River Street. 

"With it open I think we're going to have a lot more visibility," said Eric Pulver, Eric's Diamonds Owner.

Businesses in downtown Chippewa Falls didn't go into hiding when work began this summer. But owners say they'll be easier to find with the road reopened.

"It was a one-way street about a half a block from us for a long time and I think people were kind of going around our block to get out of town," Pulver said.

"Definitely today after it's opened up we've surely noticed a difference in the northbound traffic coming out past Spring Street up Bridge Street," added Pulver.

"Watching traffic today, the first day it's opened, and jeesh it's crazy! So I'm expecting if anything it to be busier," said Carol Christenson, Korger's Furniture and Decorations Owner.

"I'm very happy to have the roundabout open and everybody is very excited to be able to drive south on Bridge Street and be able to get out of town that way without having to drive around," Christenson added.

While not every business saw a negative impact on the bottom line…

"We were fortunate. Customers still were able to get here, it never totally closed down our streets," said Dave Flanagan, Spring Street Sports Owner.

The end of a majority of the roadwork means both owners and customers can enjoy having their downtown back, and some say, better than ever.

"Construction has been going on all summer, so it'll be nice when all those big trucks go away. It's going to make our downtown coming into Chippewa Falls just that much nicer," Flanagan explained.

There is still one part of the roundabout with some work left to do.  The exit to Rushman Drive will be the last to be finished. The city says the entire project is scheduled to wrap up on October 15th.

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