The road construction under way on 13th Street is widely thought to be needed, though that hasn't made the experience for residents and business owners any more pleasant.
The project between Rawson and College avenues, led by Milwaukee-based LaLonde Contractors, includes storm sewer, electrical, box culvert, road base and concrete paving. Crews are now working on the east side of the street, with traffic reduced to one lane each way.
Work is expected to wrap up by mid-summer.
Business owners hope the improvements are worth the hassle. Linda Swenson, co-owner of Oak Creek Diner, said the construction has made it difficult for customers to enter and leave the restaurant's parking lot, and she wishes she had more business from construction workers.
"It definitely affects us," she said.
Jason Hager, director of operations for Wisco Hotels' Milwaukee Region, said he welcomes the construction.
Wisco Hotels owns four hotels on 13th Street, three of which - Fairfield Inn & Suites, Candlewood Inn, and Comfort Suites - are in Oak Creek.
Hager admits that the construction, coupled with the economic downturn, hasn't necessarily been good for business, but he says it's a necessary inconvenience.
Wisco Hotels see a lot of good ideas implemented in the construction project and are happy with how the project managers at LaLonde have kept them abreast of any developments, Hager said.
What about the rest of the street?
South of Rawson Avenue, residents continue to wait for improvements to be made.
Alderman Dan Jakubczyk said he is frustrated over a lack of progress. Since 13th Street is a Milwaukee County road, the city can't do anything except, like any Oak Creek resident, put pressure on county officials.
"I've gone around and around" with the county on this issue, Jakubczyk said. (County Supervisor Paul Cesarz, who represents the area, did not respond to a request for comment)
Jakubczyk said he's concerned about people coming into the area and then leaving "with a bad taste in their mouth" after traveling 13th Street south of Rawson.
"Go for a ride on 13th Street south of Rawson," he said. "See it for yourself. It's bad."