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Detour Dilemma continues in Door County as businesses feel impact

Posted at 4:46 PM, Apr 24, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-24 18:27:47-04

DOOR COUNTY (NBC 26) — The detour dilemma continues here in Door County after Wisconsin 42 is closed to through traffic between the Wis 42/57 mid-junction and County T and local businesses say they are feeling an impact.

  • Video shows the state highway 42 detour.
  • Businesses in Carlsville say they have felt the impact of this detour.
  • "The messaging getting that word out, I guess hasn't been as widespread," said Door Peninsula Winery Operations and Creative Director, Beth Levendusky.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

"Since the beginning of construction for the last few years and where we are now, we are down over 50% in our sales," said Trapani.

Christiana Trapani, owner of Door County Candle Company says the project has had a big impact on their business.

"It's very concerning because we were we heavily rely on foot traffic. It's a huge part of our business and we heavily rely on people driving down the road seeing our business, maybe they are not planning on coming here, but they see us they stop," said Trapani.

From April 2024 to June 2024 the WisDOT state highway construction of WIS 42 has a detour that travels from Wis 57 to County V to County A and County EE.

The project will resume in the fall, if not finished.

Trapani traveled to Madison to speak with State Representative Joel Kitchens on the matter.

State Representative Kitchens says getting the word out that the businesses are open and patronizing them will help them through this construction period.

"These businesses along here, Door County Candle, Door County Coffee, the wineries. I mean, they're kind of iconic Door County businesses that really add a lot to our community," said State Representative Joel Kitchens, "The way the highway signs are set up, people don't know that they can still visit these places. We want to get the word out there for that."

Across the street from Door County Candle Company at Door Peninsula Winery Operations and Creative Director, Beth Levendusky, says the construction has not been easy on them either.

"The messaging getting that word out, I guess hasn't been as widespread. There's been a lot of confusion; can they get to us can they not?" said Levendusky.

Both businesses have tried many ways to let the community know they are open.
The Door County sheriff’s Office even took to Facebook letting drivers know to take the detour route to reduce traffic for the construction crews, but they did say drivers can get to businesses located along the route by driving to them on state highway 42.

The project stretches from the city of Sturgeon Bay to Egg Harbor between the mid-junction with Wis 42/57 and County T.

WisDOT is working to improve local infrastructure and safety with these projects. Temporary business signing may be placed during the detoured portion of the project by filling out a WisDOT business signing permit.

WisDOT has a reminder for all drivers navigating through the detours to be aware and watch for flaggers to make sure everyone is safe.