Construction Planned for Graham Avenue, Other Downtown Routes

Tom Giffey

April showers bring May flowers, but in Wisconsin, they also bring road construction. This spring, some of that construction will be along a major downtown Eau Claire traffic artery. Beginning in April, Graham Avenue will be rebuilt between Eau Claire and Lake streets. The project, which will continue until fall, will include new pavement, sidewalk, curb and gutter, decorative paver bricks and lighting, and landscaping aboveground as well as storm sewer, sanitary sewer, and water services below, according to city engineering documents.

The finished streetscape will resemble nearby South Barstow Street, and will including decorative pavers and light poles, benches, trash bins, tree grates, planter beds, “and other amenities that soften the urban street appearance,” according to city documents. On March 13, the Eau Claire City Council approved the roughly $2 million project, some of the cost of which will be paid for by the owners of adjacent property via special assessments. Some construction was completed on Graham Avenue between Eau Claire and Gibson streets last year to coordinate with utility work needed for the adjacent Pablo Center at the Confluence, the performing arts facility that will open this fall.

Over the coming months, construction will continue down the street, and traffic will be detoured to South Barstow and Lake streets. The City Council also OK’d two other downtown street projects, on Gray Street between South Barstow and 156 feet west of Graham Avenue, and on Main Street from South Barstow to the Chippewa River. Together, those two projects will cost roughly $515,000.