Eau Claire to break ground on new transit center later this year

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 7:02 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - After years of planning, the City of Eau Claire is set to break ground on a new transit center in late spring or early summer.

The facility would be built at the same location as the current one, off South Farwell Street.

The project will be a mix-used development. The transit center will be on the ground floor. It will contain retail space. A parking garage and housing will be built above the transit center.

The city is partnering with developer Merge Urban Development Group for the project.

The facility will be the main transfer point for the city’s bus system. During construction, busses will use a parking lot across the street from the current location.

“Really to have the level of service that is expect and that the public needs both for mobility and for customer use and for convenience, a new transit center was needed and it was desired for quite a while,” Eau Claire interim City Manager Dave Solberg said.

The current transit center was built in the mid-1980s. It was originally only supposed to be a temporary facility.

Solberg said the project will make Eau Claire Transit more efficient and make the city more attractive to potential businesses looking to move in.

“Hopefully showing that employers coming to town if their future employees don’t wish to have a car, which seem to be the trends,” he said.

A new facility would also improve the transit experience for regular bus riders like Terry Duss.

“That’d be awesome,” he said. “Do a little shopping, you know, have a nice place, some decent bathrooms and some vending machines possibly. That’d be nice.”

Solberg said the transit center portion of the facility should open in late 2022.

He said the project will cost around $7 million but $5 million will come from a federal grant.

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