Light Installation to Shut Down Phoenix Park Footbridge for Much of Summer

Tom Giffey

Phoenix Park footbridge
Phoenix Park footbridge

If you’re a fan of the Phoenix Park footbridge in downtown Eau Claire, we’ve got good news ... and bad news.

The good news is that, as a result of a fundraising campaign, hundreds of colorful LED lights will be installed on bridge, turning the 526-foot-long structure into a dazzling attraction after dark.

So far, more than $200,000 has been raised for “The River Lights at Phoenix Park” project.

The bad news is that installation of the lights will mean that the bridge will be off-limits to pedestrians and cyclists during daytime hours for much of the summer. Starting Tuesday, June 20, the bridge is to be closed between 6am and 4:30pm Mondays through Thursdays. According to a city press release, “This schedule is expected to last throughout the summer until installation is complete.” Pedestrians and cyclist will be directed to the Grand Avenue footbridge, which is a quarter mile downstream.

So far, more than $200,000 has been raised for “The River Lights at Phoenix Park” project, a joint effort among Rotary International, Downtown Eau Claire Inc., and UW-Eau Claire (with the help of hundreds of donors). “Once completed,” the press release explains, “the bridge will be bathed in ambient colors that can change for seasons and events, and will highlight the unique and historic architectural structure of the bridge. The result will be a world-class attraction that can be enjoyed by the public year-round.”

To learn more or to donate to the project, visit

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