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Allouez businesses concerned about road closure's impact this summer

Posted at 5:13 PM, May 20, 2024

ALLOUEZ — Libal Street from Allouez Avenue to State Highway 172 has been closed for the summer, making it much harder to reach some businesses that thrive during the warmer months.

  • Libal is only open to traffic for residents, business owners, and emergency personnel
  • The full scope and schedule of the project is available here
  • Business owners are worried about a detour on East River Drive leading to fewer customers
  • Reconstruction began last week, to be followed by the resurfacing of Libal between Allouez and Kalb Avenues in June

(The transcription of the full broadcast story is shown below the map)

Allouez Business Access map
A detour from East River Drive is the best way to access businesses near Libal Street.

One of the biggest roads in our neighborhood — closed all summer.

We're on Libal Street — where businesses are getting creative to bring in customers during the road reconstruction.

The reconstruction of Libal Street from 172 to Allouez Avenue started last week

"I definitely feel a little bit different about foot traffic this week," Carrie Schmechel said, "because the road did get tore out and it is a little bit more difficult to get here."

Schmechel owns Olive's restaurant and the paint and sip studio next door — and says she relies on people coming from nearby baseball games.

"I think we're in for a little bit of a long summer, but we'll keep working at it," she said.

With Libal closed, only residents can get through the area without taking a detour.

For a nearby custard shop and a coffee shop, summer is usually ideal.

"We have a huge mural on the side of the building that does face Libal, and we do get folks that that will catch their eye and come in and check us out," Coffee Wizardz roaster Brian Anderson said. "So that does have some small impact."

"We definitely get a lot of people who might stop by and see the flavor of the day and turn in, and say 'hey, we got to get that real quick,'" Ted Zieman said. "And so we will miss out a little bit on that."

Schmechel and Zetsy's Custard owner Ted Zieman say they're thinking outside the box to avoid a dry summer.

"We'll have new menu items coming out so to try to draw people to give them a reason to stop in," Schmechel said.

"We have some cool little products, like a construction cone, just to play off of it, so you can get a scoop of custard in there," Zieman said.

The Village says the full project will be completed in late September or early October.