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What to expect when downtown Manitowoc's 8th and 10th Streets open for two-way traffic on Monday

Posted at 8:10 PM, Aug 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-12 21:10:02-04

MANITOWOC, Wis. (NBC 26) — As a Manitowoc restaurant owner for the last decade, Randy Luptow has watched thousands of potential customers fly right by.

"When you have two lanes going side by side, you get a little bit of a NASCAR feel," he said. "And people admittedly go way too fast down this road."

His eatery, Wrap It Up Brews & Food, is located on a one-way street.

"Studies show that businesses on the left side in a scenario like this don't do as well as businesses on the right side," Luptow said.

But the city has a plan to benefit businesses on both sides of the road.

"We will be going back to two-way streets," Community Development Director Adam Tegen said.

Starting Monday for the first time since the 1960s, drivers will be moving in two directions on both 8th and 10th Street.

"There will be street crews working pretty much all night," Tegen said. "We'll be unbagging some signs. We'll be moving barricades."

Tegen expects a learning curve.

"I'm not gonna lie, I think there will be some confusion," he said. "Because again, it's been over 60 years that people have been driving this way."

But drivers have already had a preview.

"The last week, week and a half, we've had people in the correct lanes going the correct direction on both 8th and 10th Street," Tegen said.

The goal is to make downtown safer and more inviting to pedestrians and businesses.

"Over time, we’ll also be going out and adjusting the various stop lights throughout the city," Tegen said. "So you may see some flashing red signals. You may see some that are fully operational."

It all starts at 5 a.m. on Monday.

"We're hoping that once this change happens and people get readjusted, they'll see that it was for the betterment of the community," Tegen said.