PHOTO SLIDESHOW: South Barstow Street Construction - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

PHOTO SLIDESHOW: South Barstow Street Construction

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Eau Claire (WQOW)- A familiar downtown street that's been shut down the last few months officially reopened Friday.

City leaders celebrated the reopening of South Barstow Street in downtown Eau Claire with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The $1.8 million project took about 10 weeks to complete. The city says it is excited the work is done and more foot traffic can return to the downtown area.

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Ribbon Cutting Scheduled for Aug 7 (DECI) - After more than two months of construction on South Barstow Street, the construction crews are nearing completion.

The crews will meet an early incentive date and be finished August 7. To celebrate the re-opening of the street, Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. will host a ribbon cutting event. The celebration will take place at noon on Wednesday, August 7 at the corner of South Barstow Street and West Grand Avenue.  

The construction crews have worked hard to meet the early incentive date and finish the project 10 days ahead of schedule. Head downtown to celebrate their hard work, see the new street and support the business owners that have watched this project from their downtown businesses.

About the early incentive date:

Work on the street and sidewalks was set to be finished Aug. 16. In the contract was an incentive/disincentive provisions approved by the City Council to ensure timeliness of completion, according to Doug Derks, Deputy City Engineer.

The contract states the contractor, Haas Sons, Inc., will receive $5,000 for each calendar day the construction is completed early. The maximum incentive, said Derks, was set for 10 days, making the new finish date Aug. 6.

By that date, South Barstow Street must be open to vehicle traffic with sidewalks completed and the clay brick pavers installed in the crosswalks in order to receive the incentive money, said Derks. The lighting, clay brick pavers in the boulevards and planting are not required to be finished to meet the early incentive date.

Also in the contract was a disincentive provision stating the contractors would lose $5,000 for every calendar day the project wasn't finished beyond the original Aug. 16 deadline. The disincentive had no limits on the number of days.

Mike Carlson, president of the South Barstow Street Business Improvement District, said there will be a lot of excitement with the earlier finish date.

"It'll mean a lot for the businesses," Carlson said. "With construction being done early that'll mean hopefully business will get back to normal a little more and hopefully business will pick up."

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South Barstow Construction to Be Done Early (DECI) - July 25

After more than two months of construction on South Barstow Street, the downtown reconstruction project is nearing completion, according to Doug Derks, the main contractor of the project. The contractors are now working to meet an incentive date of Aug. 6, he said.

"I am so excited about our beautiful new look on South Barstow Street. Everyone will want to be Downtown," said Cindy Wing-Reed, owner of B-Framed Galleries.

Work began on South Barstow May 28, and was set to be finished August 16. In the contract was an incentive/disincentive approved by the City Council to ensure timeliness of completion, said Derks.

  The contract states the contractor, Haas Sons, Inc., will receive $5,000 for each calendar day the construction is completed early. The maximum incentive, said Derks, was set for 10 days, making the new finish date Aug. 6.

By that date, South Barstow Street must be open to vehicle traffic with sidewalks completed and the clay brick pavers installed in the crosswalks in order to receive the incentive money, said Derks. The lighting, clay brick pavers in the boulevards and planting are not required to be finished to meet the early incentive date.

Also in the contract was a disincentive provision stating the contractors would lose $5,000 for every calendar day the project wasn't finished beyond the original Aug. 16 deadline. The disincentive had no limits on the number of days.

Mike Carlson, president of the South Barstow Street Business Improvement District, said there will be a lot of excitement with the earlier finish date.

"It'll mean a lot for the businesses," Carlson said. "With construction being done early that'll mean hopefully business will get back to normal a little more, and hopefully business will pick up."

Wing-Reed expressed her gratefulness for the construction crew's hard work and knows that her customers and staff will be happy with the early opening.

"The construction crews have been so thoughtful and have done such a great job with all their hard work and dedication to complete the street early for us," Wing-Reed said. "Our framing customers and art collectors will be thrilled to have the road open so much sooner than we anticipated. I know my staff will be happy, too. I can't wait."

To celebrate the opening of the street, Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony. The ceremony is tentatively scheduled for 12 p.m. Aug. 7 at the corner of South Barstow Street and East Grand Avenue. For updates check Downtown Eau Claire's website, www.downtowneauclaire.org.

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Eau Claire (DECI) -- UPDATE July 24

Removal of street light poles has been completed.
Concrete removal has been completed.
Utility work has been completed.
Grading and graveling has been completed.
Electrical/sound/irrigation conduit has been completed.
Sidewalk removal and replacement has been completed.
Curb and gutter has been completed.
Light pole bases have been completed.
Main line concrete pavement has been completed.
Installation of clay brick pavers in crosswalks to be completed by Friday, July 26th.
Installation of wire in conduits is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, July 18th (6 days).
Tree planter installation is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, July 23rd (4 days).
Boulevard pavers are tentatively scheduled for Monday, July 29th (5 weeks). 

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Eau Claire (DECI) -- UPDATE July 17

Construction crews have begun to lay the brick paver street crossings.

The intersection of Main Street and South Barstow Street is now open to traffic.

The intersection of East Grand Avenue is closed to traffic. 

Sidewalk removal and replacement has been completed.

Curb and gutter has been completed.

Light pole bases from Lake Street to East Grand Avenue have been completed.

Main line concrete pavement from Lake Street to Grand Avenue was scheduled to be completed by Wednesday, July 3rd.

Tree planter installation is tentatively scheduled for this week.

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Eau Claire (DECI) -- UPDATE July 10

Removal of street light poles has been completed.

Concrete removal has been completed.

Utility work has been completed.

Grading and graveling has been completed.

Electrical/sound/irrigation conduit has been completed.

Sidewalk removal and replacement has been completed.

Curb and gutter has been completed.

Light pole bases from Lake Street to E. Grand Avenue have been completed.

Main line concrete pavement from Lake Street to Grand Avenue was schedule to be completed by Wednesday, July 3rd.

Concrete pavement from Grand Avenue to Eau Claire Street is tentatively scheduled for this week.

Installation of clay brick pavers in crosswalks is tentatively scheduled for this week.

Installation of wire in conduits is tentatively scheduled for this week.

Tree planter installation is tentatively scheduled for the week of July 15th.

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Crews completed an important step Wednesday in the construction project in downtown Eau Claire.

They finished paving the first three blocks of Barstow Street.

Work will begin Monday to pour concrete for the other two blocks. While you still can't drive on Barstow, you can now walk on the sidewalks again. They were mostly completed Tuesday.  

The project engineer tells us work is on schedule to be done by August 16th. And it could be done even two weeks before that. That's because the city is offering the contractor a $5,000 per day incentive for every day they beat the deadline. 

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Eau Claire (DECI) -- UPDATE July 3

With summer in full swing, so is the progress on the Barstow construction. City of Eau Claire officials said everything is still on schedule, while area businesses and customers learn how to deal with the minor headaches that come with all construction progress.

Doug Derks, deputy city engineer for Eau Claire, said the timeline is still as planned, with crews working on completing most the sidewalks.

The next step, Derks said, is laying the concrete pavement.

Erin Roesler, co-owner of Tangled Up in Hue, said the construction is offering challenges, especially for foot traffic outside, but it's something the business can tolerate.

"(Business) is better than we expected," she said, adding she knew it would be slow but was expecting it to be worse than it is.

The number one problem for business, Roesler said, is the lack of foot traffic, as customers may think the street and businesses are entirely closed.

"We've had customers ... saying they didn't know it was OK to walk down the street," she said.

Community member Bill Kruger said he visits the Barstow area about three times a week. He walks for exercise and rarely uses a car, and said dealing with the construction does not disrupt his routine too terribly.

"For my purposes it's not too bad," he said.

Derks said to use caution while walking around construction like would normally be expected in a work zone.

The construction should be finished up by August 16.

Roesler said she hopes the newly constructed Barstow area will be more inviting for young entrepreneurs to invest in the downtown area, especially more retail restaurants.

"I'm really happy with the rate (construction is) moving," she said. "It's hard on us financially right now but in the end it will be worth it."

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Eau Claire (DECI) -- UPDATE June 26

Remember this schedule is TENTATIVE and can change:

S. Barstow St. - Lake St. to Eau Claire St.

  • Removal of street light poles has been completed.
  • Concrete removal has been completed.
  • Storm sewer has been completed.
  • Grading and graveling has been completed.
  • Electrical/sound/irrigation conduit has been completed.
  • Curb and gutter has been completed.
  • Sidewalk replacement from Lake St. to E. Grand Ave. began on Monday, June 17.
  • Light pole bases from Lake St. to E. Grand Ave. are to be completed by Wednesday, June 26.
  • Concrete pavement on east side is tentatively scheduled for Monday, July 1.  

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Eau Claire (DECI) -- UPDATE June 20

 Remember this schedule is TENTATIVE and can change:

S. Barstow Street - Lake Street to Eau Claire Street

  • Removal of street light poles has been completed.
  • Concrete removal has been completed.
  • Storm sewer was to be completed by Monday, June 10th.
  • Grading and graveling from Lake Street to E. Grand Avenue was to be completed by Friday, June 7th.
  • Electrical/sound/irrigation conduit began on Monday, June 1st.
  • Curb and gutter from Lake Street to E. Grand Avenue is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, June 11th.
  • Light pole bases from Lake Street to E. Grand Avenue are tentatively scheduled for Thursday, June 13th.
  • Sidewalk replacement from Lake Street to E. Grand Avenue is tentatively scheduled for Monday, June 17th.
  • Concrete pavement is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, June 26th.

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Eau Claire (DECI) - The South Barstow Street reconstruction project is underway. The nearly $2 million project will include things like new concrete pavement, new sidewalks, new planting areas, and new boulevards.

The project, from Lake Street to Eau Claire Street, will require S. Barstow Street to be closed to through traffic.  Drivers will be following a detour route.  Southbound S. Barstow Street traffic will be detoured west on Eau Claire Street to Graham Avenue; then south on Graham Avenue to Lake Street; then east on Lake Street to S. Barstow Street.  Northbound S. Barstow Street traffic will be detoured west on Lake Street to Graham Avenue; then north on Graham Avenue to Eau Claire Street; then east on Eau Claire Street to S. Barstow Street.

There will be pedestrian access to businesses on South Barstow Street throughout construction.

S. Barstow Street construction will include:

  • New curb and gutter, concrete pavement, sidewalk, and clay brick paver boulevards
  • Curb bump-outs at the intersections to improve pedestrian crossings
  • Mid-block curb bump-outs to provide public gathering spaces
  • A combination of pedestrian lighting and high-level lighting at intersections
  • Special event electrical capabilities at intersections
  • A combination of tree grates and planting areas
  • An irrigation system and an upgraded sound system

Work is planned to be completed and open to traffic by August 16, 2013.  Work on the brick pavers in the boulevard should be completed by September 13, 2013.

Parking

  • There will be free parking for the public beginning May 28 for the duration of construction in:  the public parking ramp off of Farwell Street and in the 'Haymarket parking lot' at the corner of Eau Claire Street and Graham Avenue
  • City of Eau Claire crews will place signs that will mark free parking areas

Click here to see a downtown parking map

Click here for Barstow Street construction updates

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