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UW-Eau Claire footbridge repairs to begin week of May 9

RELEASED: May 6, 2011

footbridge at UW-Eau ClaireEAU CLAIRE — A structural repair project on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire footbridge over the Chippewa River will begin the week of May 9-13.

An exact start date will be known once a notice to proceed is received from the Wisconsin Division of State Facilities, university project managers said. Drax Inc., Madison, is the primary contractor for the project.

The project, a "structural facelift," will include repairs to the bridge's deck surface and a support pier beneath the water line, said Randy Hoover, engineering specialist in facilities management at UW-Eau Claire. In addition, the bridge's steel support system will be painted in some areas, Hoover said.

"This is a repair that is expected to last the next 15 years," said Terry Classen, UW-Eau Claire's director of facilities management. "The greatest portion of the work is repairing spalled concrete on the deck and repairing the expansion joints."

Work on the project will be restricted to one-half of the bridge at a time, leaving the other half open for pedestrian traffic, Hoover said. Bicyclists will be asked to walk their bicycles, and skateboarders will be asked to carry their skateboards when crossing the bridge during the repair project.

Work will start on the upriver (east) side of the bridge. During that time the steps at the south end of the bridge will be closed, and people will access the bridge via the ramp also located at the south end, Hoover said.

When work begins on the downriver (west) side of the bridge, the south-end ramp will be closed and people will access the bridge via the steps. Bicyclists will need to carry their bicycles up and down the steps during that time, Hoover said.

The $206,000 state-funded repair project is expected to be completed in mid-July.

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JP/DW

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