Crews shut down stretch of Brackett Avenue for construction

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Take one last look at the Brackett Avenue we have always known -- because in three months, you will be driving on new pavement and walking on new sidewalks.

The only catch - the road is now closed until all of it is complete.

"This is a large project, it's the largest project the city will be undertaking this whole year," said Eau Claire City Engineer Dave Solberg.

He says as of Monday, Brackett Avenue will be closed from Rudolph Road to Hastings Way. A detour has been set up to help people get in and out of downtown. It runs along Farwell Street to Main Street and then to Hastings Way.

Josh Vuorenmaa and his family will feel the impact of the closure more than most of us. Brackett Avenue was just a turn away from their neighborhood. Now that access is blocked until November.

"A big pain, you have to drive around 4 or 5 times to get where you’re going," he said.

Vuorenmaa is a truck driver and worries about some of his deliveries on Brackett Avenue. He is also a dad, seeing a sudden increase in vehicles in the neighborhood.

"You go from two to three per hour now to like 70," he said.

His wife, Ashley, has some of those same concerns but cannot wait for the new Brackett Avenue to be finished.

"We like to take a lot of walks and I think it will be easier, safer for walkers," she added.

Mark Hendricks meanwhile knows getting around by wheelchair is going to be very difficult. He is trying out some new routes and mixing some humor into the whole situation.

"I'll go home and sleep until it's done," he said.

The next few months may be more time-consuming and inconvenient but Solberg believes good things are ahead.

"The results will be worth the headaches and hassles people will have to experience this summer," he said.

Brackett Avenue is expected to be closed until November 1st, weather permitting.


The City of Eau Claire is kicking off one of it's biggest construction projects of the year.

Brackett Avenue from Rudolph Road to Hastings Way will be closed starting Monday. Harding Avenue from Lee Street to Rudolph Road will also shut down. The detour runs from Farwell to Main Street to Hastings Way.

Construction is scheduled to wrap up by November 1, depending on weather conditions.

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