Eau Claire (WQOW) - The Chippewa Valley Air Show starts this weekend and brings in thousands, which makes getting to the airport a little difficult.
Organizers estimate more than 40,000 attendees this Saturday and 25,000 on Sunday. So, traffic will be a bit stressful. Air show rehearsals begin Thursday and so do traffic restrictions. On Thursday and Friday, officials said road closures will be limited to the outer loop of the airport, or Airport Road, from Neptune Avenue to Iona Beach Road. On Friday, Starr Avenue will close to traffic from North Lane to the airport entrance. There are more traffic restrictions come Saturday and Sunday.
"Well, starting at 8:30 a.m., if folks are traveling on Starr Avenue north towards the airport or on Melby Street coming west into the airport, those are going to be switched to one-way traffic," said Lt. Tim Golden with the Eau Claire Police Department. "So, it's all one-way traffic basically into the airport."
This one-way traffic will last from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days. Once the 'Blue Angels' begin their show, officials will switch the traffic flow to a one-way leaving the airport. Golden recommends coming as early as you can to avoid major traffic congestion, as backups are expected. He also said high peak traffic time will be between 11 a.m. and noon.
The Eau Claire Police Department is bringing in 23 officers to help direct traffic this weekend. The Eau Claire County Sheriff's Office will have quite a few as well. Local law enforcement said they guarantee to get folks into see the show safely and efficiently.
For more information on directions and travel routes, see here.
The air show isn't the only event causing a few road closures and detours this weekend. Starting Thursday, the Blue Ox Music Festival will welcome thousands, and that means high traffic congestion.
The Eau Claire County Sheriff's Office will restrict traffic on Crescent Avenue between Curvue Road and South Town Hall Road from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Officials said commuters who use Crescent Avenue should find an alternative route. Traffic will return to normal Thursday at 10 p.m.