City takes public input on Brackett Avenue construction

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)- It’s one of the main gateways to downtown Eau Claire, but for motorists who have traveled down Brackett Avenue over the past few years it’s been a bumpy ride.

Now there's word that change is on the way. Thursday night city leaders held a public meeting to get input on how they can make Brackett and Harding Avenue smoother.

“For the last few years it’s certainly been an issue and potholes are going to be an issue when you live in the climate that we do,” David FitzGerald, owner of Kleven Real Estate said.

FitzGerald says for years he’s seen plenty of traffic go past his office on Brackett Avenue and every spring it becomes clearer that change is needed.

“I know it will get bad again and we need to redo it for purposes of finishing the infrastructure,” FitzGerald said.

“It’s in bad shape, its time it's going to be an inconvenience to the business and the people that are going to drive it to get across town but it cannot be put off any longer. It needs to be done,” Public Works Director Phil Fieber said.

Fieber says Brackett Avenue has been on the city's radar for a few years but now it’s time to take action.

“We could have construction started by June and we are looking at wrapping up around September or early October,” Fieber added.

While the city works to set a concrete timeline for the project, the community took its chance Thursday night to suggest a few key things they think will make these streets safer for both drivers and pedestrians.

“There are a lot of the issues with the road but they can be resolved if we rethink the way we rebuild our city. We have to build at a scale that’s not just for automobiles it’s for people too,” Chippewa Valley Transit Alliance Board member Jeremy Gragert said.

The city says Thursday night’s meeting to discuss changes was the first of many. They say they will take the public's input and make a formal presentation of their plans in about three weeks.

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