5/10/2017, The Cap Times – In a letter sent Wednesday, mayors from the cities of Madison, Fitchburg and Verona asked Gov. Scott Walker and the co-chairs of the Legislature’s budget committee to find a solution to keep the major Verona Road construction project on schedule.
Reconstruction of U.S. Highway 151/Verona Road, which spans all three municipalities, was planned to be a five-year project that would end in 2020. However, the Joint Finance Committee rejected Gov. Scott Walker’s budget provision for funding road projects and is working on a new plan.
Paul Soglin, Jon Hochkammer and Jason Gonzalez — mayors of Madison, Verona and Fitchburg, respectively — argued it is “essential” the project stay on a five-year schedule and that any delay would be detrimental for area businesses.
“The delay in the Verona Road construction project could jeopardize existing business expansions that are currently being planned, put at risk reinvestments in the region, negatively impact workforce retention and job creation, while also resulting in reduced customer traffic and sales for existing small businesses,” the mayors said in the letter.
Businesses at the north end of Verona Road suffered losses of up to 35 percent of revenues since construction began on that area in 2016, the mayors cite in the letter. Additionally, they say the Fitchburg businesses on Verona Road make up approximately 6.7 percent of Fitchburg’s property tax base.
“The Verona Road Project has significant implications for our local communities, the region and state-wide economy in that the construction affects the ability of the part of businesses operating in the corridor to move goods and services to their respective customers,” the letter states.
Phase two of the construction project began in March on Verona Road from Fitchrona Road to Williamsburg Way, East Frontage Road between Spoke/Sprocket Drive and Chalet Gardens Road, County Highway PD/McKee Road from the intersection with Fitchrona Road to Commerce Park Drive; and Fitchrona Road from King James Way to County Highway PD/McKee Road.