Plaza Progress: Downtown’s Haymarket Plaza Poised for Completion

Tom Giffey, photos by Andrea Paulseth

After a long wait, Eau Claire’s newest urban public space will be ready to be enjoyed by the public in the coming weeks. Just don’t call it a park.

Haymarket Plaza – the public square overlooking the Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers between the Pablo Center at the Confluence and the Haymarket Landing building – is expected to be completed by the first week of July, said Dave Solberg, Eau Claire city engineer. Originally slated to open last fall around the same time as the Pablo Center, the project was delayed for months. (A wet autumn and record-breaking winter didn’t help matters.)

In recent days, Solberg said, fountains and fire features have being tested, lights have being installed, and IT work has been underway. When all is complete, the plaza will provide an urban vibe that complements, but doesn’t compete with, the green swathe of Phoenix Park just across the river.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for July 2 at noon.

The city spent about $1.5 million on concrete work, lighting, fountains, and fire features for the plaza, as well as $2 million for a retaining wall and bridge abutment and another $1 million for the Confluence Crossing Bridge, which connects the plaza to Phoenix Park.