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Campus steam line project to be completed Nov. 5

RELEASED: Oct. 22, 2010

construction logoEAU CLAIRE — The construction of a new $2.9 million steam line on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus is expected to be completed Nov. 5.

The project, which began in June, will be finished three weeks past its original scheduled completion date of Oct. 15 due to delays caused by heavy summer rainfall, said Terry Classen, UW-Eau Claire director of Facilities Management. The project was completed within budget, Classen said.

The steam line was constructed from a point north of the McPhee Physical Education Center parking lot on upper campus to just southeast of the Nursing Building on lower campus, and then from the Nursing Building through the Phillips parking lot and across an open grassy area to Phillips Science Hall.

The new steam line will provide steam to the new university student center, for which construction is slated to begin in early 2011. It also will provide redundancy for the university's current steam line system, which was constructed in the 1960s.

The project involved the removal of trees along an approximately 30-foot-wide corridor on the hill in Putnam Park between upper and lower campus. Hillside restoration has included returning original salvaged topsoil to the excavated area and placement of an erosion control mat that will provide a temporary, biodegradable cover material to reduce slope erosion and enhance revegetation, Classen said. Some additional restoration work on the top portion of the hill will be completed next week, he said.

Additional work to be completed includes pressure testing of the new steam and condensate lines, piping insulation and covering the final section of box conduit, seeding of a grassy area west of Phillips Hall, reinstallation of a permanent fence along the upper campus/Putnam Park border, and replacement of sections of curb and gutter on upper and lower campus.

The steam line project was assessed according to requirements of the Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act and was approved by the Putnam Park Commission, which administers Putnam Park, a 230-acre natural area owned by the university. The project's environmental impact assessment can be read online.

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JP/DW

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