FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — It's been a long summer in Fond du Lac. Construction on many major roads has been closing roads since April, inconveniencing citizens and causing problems for many local businesses.
One business affected is Faros Family Restaurant on Pioneer Road near Highway 41.
"I would say since construction started cut business about half," manager Sarah Myers said. "So it really affected us. But we were super fortunate to have the customers that we've had, and they kept the business going. So we're super grateful for that. And that's what kept us afloat."
Myers credits the restaurant's continued patronage to loyal regular customers who were willing to work around the construction.
"You know, it's harder with everything going up prices going up, people not wanting to go out and then we got hit with construction, which made everything a lot more difficult," Myers said.
City leaders said they understand the frustration local businesses face.
“Unfortunately, it does hurt businesses. But in the end, they will have a new street that will hopefully be better for their customers, better access and get them back up and up and running," Fond du Lac Director of Public Works Paul DeVries said.
DeVries said the city has been planning and working with local businesses far before construction began, and is helping them use signs to direct customers to alternate routes when roads are closed.
This communication was a big help for restaurants like Ala Roma Pizzeria, also located on pioneer road.
"They did work with Johnny, he's the owner," manager Robin Balthazor said. "Johnny would go out every day and talk to them, make sure they were on, you know, one on one basis with the crew."
Balthazor said she thinks the new road could end up helping the business.
"We’re very happy with it," Balthazor said. "It looks great. There's access and easier access going in and out. So yeah, I think it's gonna really help business a lot."
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Fond du Lac County, and the city of Fond du Lac are all working together on the project.
DeVries said the section near W. Johnson Street will be done by the end of the week. The area near Pioneer Street will be complete by the end of the month. But other projects, like the area near Military Road, may not be complete until November.