Council votes on flood grant, street improvement projects

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The issue of flooding was even on the minds of the Eau Claire city council Tuesday afternoon.

Members signed off on a grant from the state Department of Natural Resources is worth more than 45,000 dollars and backs a project to insert a check valve into the river outlets of several storm sewers.

The valves, commonly called "duck bills", attempt to stop high river water from backing up into homes and totally saturating low-lying neighborhoods.

"In the past we used to, and, this is back when I first started, we were actually building chimney is over these areas and using sandbags”, said Jeff Pippenger, Community Services Director with the city of Eau Claire. “So, this is going to be much more efficient for us to have these on the pipes, so it just prevents the river from coming back into these areas."

Another item approved by the council, initial plans to improve State Street from Garfield Avenue to the city's southern boundary.

The original price tag for the improvements was just over 1.5 million dollars.

Three round-abouts were part of the initial plan, but one at Roosevelt Avenue was delayed until 2020, so it can be made larger than initially planned.