Special Section

Looking Ahead 2019 - Under Construction

The Chippewa Valley has frequently felt like one big construction zone in the past few years.

The Chippewa Valley has frequently felt like one big construction zone in the past few years, and we can expect that trend to continue into 2019. In Eau Claire, the big road construction job of the year will be the rebuilding of a more than mile-long stretch of State Street, a major downtown-to-south side traffic artery.

The city has been gathering feedback from residents on the project – which may include a number of roundabouts – and expects to incorporate all this input into its plans by February, City Engineer Dave Solberg said. If the City Council signs off on the project as expected in late February or early March, the excavators could be rolling by Memorial Day.

Work on the stretch of State Street between Garfield Avenue and the city limits (just past Hamilton Avenue) is expected to continue through November.

Meanwhile, the $4 million renovation of Eau Claire’s historic City Hall will continue this year, with extensive interior work to restore the century-old complex’s historic architecture. The project is expected to be done by Labor Day, allowing city offices to move back into City Hall from their temporary quarters on Prairie Lane.

Also in downtown Eau Claire, work may start on a new office building, children’s museum, and entrepreneur-oriented “container park” on the Block 7 and liner building sites along North Barstow Street. Pablo Properties is in the process of negotiating final details of that $32 million project with the city’s Redevelopment Authority. If plans proceed, ground may be broken in 2019 on the project.

Elsewhere in the Valley, a new six-story residence hall on UW-Eau Claire’s upper campus is expected to be finished by the fall semester, providing 432 much-needed beds to Blugolds.

And at UW-Stout in Menomonie, three big renovation projects are expected to wrap up this summer and fall: maintenance and repair to Bowman Hall, home of the beloved campus Clock Tower; the renovation of (and addition to) North Hall, a 371-bed dorm; and the renovation of Price Commons, the main dining hall for students.