Eau Claire bridge to be converted - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Eau Claire bridge to be converted


Eau Claire (WQOW) - AnEau Clairebridge will get a new lease on life after 134 years.

Theformer Union Pacific railroad bridge also known as the high bridge north of Madison street wasbought by the city in 2008. 

Itwill be turned into a pedestrian bridge to become a part of the bike trailrunning along the Chippewa River.

Plansare being drawn up to replace the bridge decking and add railings. The totalcost of the project is estimated to be about $600,000.  A state grant will pay for much of it but$120,000 will come from the city's capital improvement budget.

"Totake something that is 134 years old and to basically just put a new wood deckand new wood rails on it to cross the Chippewa Riverinstead of having all the new materials that would be required for a new bridgeand the expense. It's incredible to think it has lasted 134 years and now it'sserving a brand new purpose and will hopefully last well into the future," saidCity Engineer Dave Solberg.

Projectplans are being drawn up and must be finished by November first.  However, if those plans are finished beforethen, work could begin this summer or fall.

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