Highway Signs Cause Confusion

By: Erica Dao
By: Erica Dao

Safety ignited construction on highways 53 and 29, but the project to widen this road sparked a new problem.
Local businesses, especially in Chippewa falls, have started to see a drop.
"Some of our hotels here, in the Chippewa Falls area especially, have shown a decrease in numbers for the last couple of months over previous years, and I think some it is attributed to that," said Linda Adler, executive director of the Chippewa Valley Visitor's Bureau.
300 million dollars was spent in the Chippewa Valley by visitors last year.But now that construction is nearing completion and highways are opening up, the people who spend that cash may not be able to find the new roadways.
"There's just a lot of questions about signage and which road from you know, do they go off of 29 to get into Chippewa Falls to get into Eau Claire. So, just some general confusion."
The department of transportation is making some adjustments by adding signs along 53 that say, "Chippewa Falls, next 3 exits." But those signs must follow standard practice.
"You have to have certain standards, you can't change signage in Eau Claire and make it look different than what theTwin Cities has or Madison, so you have to have some kind of standardization," said Don Gutkowski of the Northwest Region Department of Transportation.
Construction is expected to be completed next fall, which means the state of confusion will only be temporary.

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