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High Bridge re-opening slated for March

An exact re-opening date, has yet to be set but the work and construction within the water should be finished by the end of the month with a goal of granting public access by early March.
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Published: Feb. 17, 2022 at 7:42 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -After being closed for the better part of a year the more than 140-year-old High Bridge downtown Eau Claire is finally nearing a re-opening.

Right now the contractor is scheduled to have all work and construction within the water complete by the end of February which means the bridge should be back open for public use by early March.

“The next two weeks is just putting in the bearing pads on those remaining piers and allowing the bridge to shift properly with those pads installed,” says Leah Ness, interim Eau Claire City engineer.

The popular footbridge has been closed from First St. to Forest St. since June due to a severe crack in the structure.

“What was in there previously was on rollers, and it had a lot of sediment that had accumulated in those rollers over the years, so we changed the way that the plates slide...and hopefully we shouldn’t have that issue in the future then,” says Ness.

The historic landmark still needs finishing touches before the city can give the green light for public access.

“There will be still be some grading work to be done around the abutments after the crews are out of the river so there will still be some work in March and then early spring for restoration, getting grass growing again,” says Ness.

The High Bridge restoration also means it can once again be part of the Eau Claire Marathon Weekend.

While it is too late in the game to include the bridge in the Marathon course, race director Emi Uelmen says both the 5k and 10k held Saturday April 30. will have runners crossing the High Bridge.

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