Repairs being made to Barstow St. sidewalk, road after harsh winter

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- "Right up there I was thinking are they doing construction again?" Said Brogan Hoffstad.

Your reaction was probably like Brogan Hoffstad if you have been in downtown Eau Claire this week and saw the construction crews, yellow tape and bobcats.

"I thought it would be done by now because we had this last summer but at least they're trying to improve it," said Jake Mixorli about Barstow Street repairs in Eau Claire.

The Barstow Street project did wrap up last fall. But City Engineer David Solberg says the bitterly cold winter took a toll on some of the new sidewalks and parts of the road.

"We ran a tally of the damage that we had and now the contractor is out there fixing it," Solberg said.

He says parts of the sidewalk cracked and also spalled. Basically, a thin part of the top layer came off exposing the layers below to potential damage. He says the concrete was not ready to stand up to everything Mother Nature threw at us.

"Concrete was poured later in the year; it wasn't poured right away in May so didn't have a couple extra months of cure time," Solberg said. "There was an extreme temperature range this year; we went from 100 degree heat in the summer time to -40 in the winter."

There may have been others factors, too.

"It is a salt route, so some of the damage could be attributed to salt," he said.

Crews with the contracting company began repairs this week. It is estimated the whole project will take about three to four weeks. And as for the cost, Solberg says taxpayers are not on the line for any extra money.

"The city paid to have the sidewalk and pavers put in last year and the repairs are the contractor's responsibility," he added.

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