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Waukesha Businesses Expect Traffic Loss During Highway F Ramp Closures

If you're driving into Waukesha make sure you're aware of this traffic alert.

This week the Wisconsin Department of Transportation closed all I-94 ramps to-and-from Highway F. The closure is expected to last at least one month.

The ramps are a main entry to downtown Waukesha and local businesses tell CBS 58 that the work is affecting their flow of customers.

For example, if you wanted to get to the Steinhafels Furniture Superstore (situated right off Highway F) your best bet to get off at the exit just to the West: Highway 164.

Even the short detour is enough for Steinhafels to lose 20-to-40 percent of their traffic. That estimation comes Steinhafels marketing director Dirk Stallmann.

"It has a definite impact on our business. It started yesterday. And we definitely have seen a drop-off at this store since it started," Stallmann said.

"One of the greatest things about this location is its proximity to the highway and to the exits. So when the exits are closed the access is very limited," Stallmann said.

On the other side of I-94, management at Sky Zone Trampoline Park is prepping employees so they will be able to answer frantic calls.

"If they are held up, if they're a little bit late for their jump time - we'll be able to extend them, we'll be able to help 'em out so they get the most bang for their buck," business development director Herb Coulthurst said.

One aspect of construction that the trampoline park is considering: parents driving kids to birthday parties at Sky Zone might not be aware of the construction and Coulthrust said he's unsure how that will affect first impressions.

"First time customers, we don't want to appear like we're cut off and closed off right away when they first want to come," Coulthrust said.

Stallmann with Steinhafels said the company is already bracing for the impact on the location.

"The next month is particularly critical because we're going to be going through labor day weekend. And Labor Day weekend is a very significant sale for us and [construction] will definitely have an impact on a very, very large weekend for the company," Stallmann said.

Local businesses say they have put in requests to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation asking them to install more explicit detour signs.

According to the WisDOT website, the closure is expected to last at least through September 19.

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