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You Ask, We Answer: Huge crack in eastbound North Crossing bridge getting fixed?

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North Crossing Bridge Crack

EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - It's time for another segment of You Ask, We Answer. In Friday's edition, a viewer emailed us her concerns about a huge crack in one of the bridges at North Crossing in Eau Claire.

This long crack is located on the eastbound Chippewa River bridge on North Crossing in Eau Claire.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation does inspections at least every two years, and officials said one of their engineers did note that crack in a report eight years ago.

But even though the crack may look worrisome, officials said the bridge itself is fine.

"The crack is involved with the wing wall which retains the roadway leading up to the bridge itself. The crack does look bad and it's the reason we are replacing it. I believe we caught it in our routine inspections back in 2013. It's progressed since then. Gotten a little worse every year, but there are other pieces/stabilizers of the bridge inside and underneath that's holding the road together," said Lee Balsiger, Wisconsin DOT bridge maintenance engineer.

The DOT actually plans to begin repairs on the bridge on Wednesday, Aug. 4 with a price tag of roughly $108,000.

"The work will include replacing the wing wall, replacing some of the adjacent roadway, curb and gutter just so that we can get at the wing wall and make sure we construct it correctly. Drivers will experience a lane shift, but there will be no disruption to traffic flow," said Nathan Ulness, Wisconsin DOT project manager.

Construction on the bridge is scheduled to be complete in September.

Both the eastbound and westbound structures went up in 1992 as part of the project that built the North Crossing, and each is almost 1,500 feet in length.

The DOT has 34 active construction projects in the northwest region of the state.

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