OED advances the business prosperity of Ozaukee County collaborating with community,
´╗┐regional and business partners ensuring a growing and diversified economy.
2021 OED Outreach Event Recap
With summer arriving and the sun shining, it seems as if we are finally seeing the light at the end of the COVID tunnel. The 2021 OED Outreach Event held on Thursday, May 12th, was a breath of fresh air and great success, with over 160 attendees showing up to hear our speakers and network face to face. The event was once again held outside at Shully's in Thiensville, this time utilizing the venue's new expanded patio to take advantage of the beautiful spring weather and to maximize social distancing capability. Masks were also recommended for attendees, but with increasing vaccination numbers and the gorgeous outdoor space, many of the attendees were able to see each other's smiling faces.

Presented by Ascension and Port Washington State Bank, the event began with attendees reconnecting while enjoying a drink and delicious hor's d'oevres prepared by Shully's. OED President Ben Levy kicked off the speaking portion of the event by welcoming everyone before passing the microphone along to OED Executive Director Kathleen Cady Schilling. Highlighting upcoming business developments, Schilling discussed how OED continues to help businesses grow, forward careers, and positively impact communities in light of the COVID crisis. Schilling also provided updates on educational and financial programs and introduced OED's new edition to the staff, Katie Krier, who will be working in marketing and administration so that OED can expand our outreach and continue to help Ozaukee County grow.

Port Washington State Bank President James Schowalter took the stage to discuss how proud Port Washington State Bank is to be a presenting sponsor for the outreach event and a part of the Ozaukee County community as a whole. Schowalter then introduced the featured guest speaker, Missy Hughes, Secretary and CEO of Wisconsin's lead economic development organization, WEDC. WEDC works to grow the Wisconsin Economy by helping communities revitalize, connecting businesses with expansion opportunities and incentives, and attracting businesses to help our industries grow. Hughes explained how economic development has been essential for communities while navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic allowed WEDC the opportunity to re-think things when it comes to helping small businesses. Providing opportunities to access relief funding, setting up guidelines for businesses when they re-opened in May of 2020, and establishing the main street website mainstreetwi.com so that small businesses could continue commerce are just a few of the ways WEDC has assisted small businesses as they push through these trying times.

Hughes also addressed issues such as the labor shortage and what workers need to participate in the economy. Returning to work has been no easy feat for many, with children having to learn from home and jobs shifting technologically. Hughes also acknowledged that despite these challenges, the pandemic has also taught us important lessons and brought innovation to the surface. Lessons on how we can fulfill the needs of workers so that they can work again and what needs to happen to support the spread of technological innovation within the state. With more people choosing to be vaccinated and continuing conversations about fulfilling the needs of individuals to expand our workforce and support innovation, Hughes expressed her confidence that Wisconsin's economy will recover.

Ozaukee Economic Development was thrilled to have Missy Hughes as our featured speaker for our 14th Annual Outreach Event. We would like to thank Shully's for the amazing food and gorgeous space, as well as our sponsors for helping us make this event possible. Presenting Sponsors- Ascension and Port Washington State Bank. Gold Level Sponsors- (Ansay & Associates/Ansay Development, Associated Bank, Concordia University, Froedtert Health and the Medical College of Wisconsin, Levy & Levy s.c., RBC Wealth Management, SEEK Careers/Staffing, Spectrum Investment Advisors, Sommerberger Group at RW Baird, Stifel Investment Services, and von Briesen and Roper, s.c.). Silver Level Sponsors (Bank Five Nine, BMO Harris Bank, CLA, Commerce State Bank, Doig Corporation, Gener8tor, Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce, Kohler Credit Union, MATC- Mequon Campus, Richmond Investment Services, and U.S. Bank). Once again, we thank everyone for helping to make this event a success and hope you can join us next year.
Outreach Event Snapshot
WisDOT I-43 Construction Virtual Presentation Recap
Drivers will want to be particularly cautious when using the I-43 roadways throughout the next few years as WisDOT is making some exciting new changes to the corridor starting July 2021! Ozaukee Economic Development and Ozaukee County area Chambers of Commerce partnered with WisDOT and offered a virtual presentation on the upcoming I-43 construction project on June 3rd via Zoom. Over sixty people attended to hear WisDOT Project Manager Steve Hoff discuss details of the reconstruction and modernization of I-43 from Bender Road in Milwaukee County to WIS 60 in Ozaukee County.

The presentation began with Hoff giving a brief view of the changes to come over the course of the project. The addition of a third lane, the reconstruction of existing bridges, ramps, lanes, and the expansion of local roadways are just a few examples of what's in the works. Hoff then outlined the project's sequencing and staging, dividing the project by year and segment location. The project had initially started in 2011 with an environmental study before being put on hold for a few years. However, the project is back in motion, with work zone preparation beginning this summer and construction expected to be completed in 2025.

This coming fall will be the beginning of construction, with areas of the north end and County Line Rd. segments being reconstructed. In 2022, the project will be focused on the north end and County Line Rd. mainline, constructing a new Highland Rd. interchange, and new inside northbound lanes at the north end. The construction of the Fish Creek Box Culvert crossing the freeway and the rebuilding of the Port Washington Rd. and Donges Bay Rd. bridges is also to be expected for 2022. Hoff explained that 2023 would be the most intense year for construction, with work happening on the County Highway C interchange, north and southbound lanes, and new bridges for County Line Rd., Union Pacific Railroad, and southbound Mequon Rd. Lastly, the final portion of the project will begin in 2024, focusing on the Mequon Rd. and south end segments of the corridor, as the south end median barrier, northbound inside shoulder, northbound bridge over Mequon Rd, both north and southbound lanes, and Jean Nicolet Rd. undergo construction.
Corridor designer Andy Kauske was also present at the program to give insight into what we can expect in terms of closures and impacts on travelers. Kauske explained that following labor day, we can expect to see ramps to and from the south along county line road to be closed long-term, except for holidays and special events. We will also be seeing closures at the north end segment of the corridor during off-peak times and near the county line at night. Come 2022, there will be closures of Highland Rd. and both the Port Washington Rd. and Donges Bay Rd. Construction on the mainline will be happening during this time as well, leading to frequent lane closures. During this portion of the project, travelers will still be able to utilize two 12 foot lanes with a minimum of 2 feet of shoulder space.

With the busy construction schedule planned for 2023, travelers can expect closures at the County Highway C bridge and interchange and the County Line Rd. bridge. From 2024 to 2025, there will be staggered closures as Jean Nicolet Rd. goes under construction. Despite the busy years of construction ahead, Hoff explained that WisDOT's goal is to minimize the disruption to travelers as much as possible over the course of the project.

To maximize safety, WisDOT will be working with law enforcement, freeway service teams, and emergency response teams to ensure a swift response if an accident were to occur. WisDOT will also use alternate route adaptive and responsive traffic signals, temporary traffic signals, and Work Zone ITS electronic boards to notify drivers of their speed and upcoming ques to help guide drivers. Hoff also discussed WISDot's public outreach and communication efforts through public information meetings, coordination meetings, and the virtual program. Explaining that doing so has allowed the public to be actively involved in the project, which increases awareness and allows WisDOT to respond to questions and concerns surrounding the project.

Ozaukee Economic Development would like to thank WisDOT's Project Manager Steve Hoff and HNTB Corridor Designer Andy Kauske for keeping us in the know, as well as WisDOT and Ozaukee area chambers of commerce for working with us on this program. If you were unable to attend the virtual presentation or would like more information on the upcoming construction project, visit www.wisconsindot.gov/43corridor.
2021 Business of the Year Awards &
´╗┐Economic Forecast
With last year's Economic Forecast being held virtually, OED is excited to discuss the economic climate and honor hard-working businesses in person this year. The 2021 OED Economic Forecast Breakfast & Business of the Year Awards will be held on Tuesday, October 19th, from 7:30 to 9:30 AM at the Ozaukee Pavillion at the County Fairgrounds. Stay tuned for more details and registration to come. We look forward to this engaging and informative event and hope to see you there!