- Small businesses dominate the political rhetoric these days.
Now, a local small business owner is down to his last shot to save his from shutting down.
We've told you about Raj Bhandari in the past.
Whether it's fighting for gas discounts or rebuilding his gas station after it burned a few years ago...you've probably seen him.
He's fighting to save his gas station at the intersection of Highway 51 - County Road C - North Star Drive.
Tuesday he's taking the fight to Madison on foot.
"If this doesn't exist, we won't be able to pay any bills," Bhandari, Buffalo Spirit Village gas station owner, said.
That's what Bhandari faces once the DOT starts construction on an overpass near his Merrill gas station.
"They're putting an overpass right at this intersection (Hwy. 51 & County Road C/North Star Drive) which will take over access from the highway, direct access," Bhandari said. "We won't be busy at all. We will be left with no other option but to close this business."
So who's idea was the walk to the Madison?
"It was actually my idea," Bhandari's 13-year-old son Sunny said. "In the public meeting I got a little out of hand and I started talking about walking to Madison and that's how it all started."
Now they hope a plea to a business friendly governor could help.
"If this gas station doesn't exist, there would be no one using the overpass," Bhandari says. "So spending the $2 million of the taxpayer fund is just a waste of money."
The DOT feels differently.
"Currently now, because of safety reasons, we obtained some safety money [to build it]," WisDOT project supervisor Robin Stafford said. "We're progressing with our plan and our plan was to put an overpass at County Trunk Highway C intersection and Highway 51."
Stafford says statistics show the need for an overpass.
"There was an overpass scheduled there when he purchased it," Stafford said.
"At the time we did not know when we were going to do it, and we told him that. Since then, we told him when we received the funding. Actually when his business burned down he was reminded that we had received the funding and we're going to build it. Unfortunately he made a business decision to rebuild knowing that he was not going to have access."
Still, Bhandari's crew is heading to Mad-town - walking to see Walker.
"They should come here and say 'Raj, can you work with us?'"
The DOT plans to start construction next spring.