Local business owners fed up with downtown Rhinelander constructionSubmitted: 06/19/2017
Erin Beu
Erin Beu

Local business owners fed up with downtown Rhinelander construction
RHINELANDER - Businesses in downtown Rhinelander knew the last 15 months would be a challenge, as a 22-block reconstruction project tore up streets, sidewalks, and utilities.

However, as the city hits the final stretch of work, many businesses feel it's not ending soon enough.

"It pisses me off," said local Davenport Street attorney Brian Bennett.

According to Bennett, road crews were expected to start on the road work in front of his office weeks ago. 

"It's taken weeks and weeks and weeks," said Bennett.

Bennett also said crews have closed down parts of Davenport Street without any work actually being done on some days, and he wants to know why.

"Tell us. Tells us what's going on," said Bennett.

Additionally, Bennett said Public Works Director Tim Kingman has stopped responding to him.

"Just let us know, keep us in the loop," said Bennett.

Kingman admits there have been more delays than he expected.

"This year has been a challenge with the weather," \Kingman said.

Kingman asks everyone to be patient and keep the final product in mind.

"Not delays, not the weather, not any of that, just the end product," said Kingman.

Bennett isn't the only person downtown who is fed up with the construction.

Brown Street business owner Michele Baumgartner says even though the roadwork in front of her business is done, it's still not finished.

"Now, back behind my back door is Stevens Street, and that's been closed now for going on two weeks, I think. And the weather seems to be fine during the week, so I don't know what the holdup is," said Baumgartner.

Kingman says regardless of the delays, the project is on track to finish by June 30.

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