Construction begins on busy Eau Claire streets

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Two busy Eau Claire streets are closing for construction this week.

Lake Street closed on June 17 between Farwell and the Chippewa River Bridge and State Street is scheduled to close June 19 between Bartlett Court to Hamilton.

These are two of the larger construction projects planned for the summer and will bring some major improvements to the areas according to City Engineer David Solberg.

“Lake Street has some utilities that are pushing 100 years old so we’ll have modern utilities, a safe driving surface, traffic calming features, wider sidewalks and some streetscape to set the tone as you are entering downtown instead of the old worn street that currently exists,” Solberg says.

State Street will see some upgrades as well.

“We're replacing all of the utilities, all of the pavement, curb, gutter and sidewalk,” Solberg says.

The project will also add three new roundabouts to the intersections of Lexington, MacArthur and Hamilton.

The detour for State Street will use Rudolph Road to Harding Avenue to get downtown.

To avoid Lake Street, drivers can use the detour from Summit to Washington to Farwell.

“Both routes have been used as detours in the past,” Solberg says. “The motorist community is familiar with these routes.” He says drivers should plan for more travel time and to respect the detours for the sake of the workers’ safety.

Solberg says the end result of the construction will be well worth it.
“On both Lake Street and State Street there is a deteriorating pavement condition,” he says. ”Utilities will be new and we won't have to worry about questionable utilities like water main breaks and sewers.”

Solberg says the construction will also add wider roads and sidewalks to make it easier for cyclists and pedestrians to get around at both locations.

After these projects are completed, Solberg says there are no more plans for major construction projects in the near future.

Lake Street is expected to reopen in September and the construction on State Street will wrap up around December according to Solberg.

He says Lake Street will cost around $1,000,000 and state street construction will cost about $4,000,000.