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Water Street bridge closed through Sept. 8, 2016

| Shari Lau

The Water Street bridge connecting Water Street and Summit Avenue, as well as Thorp Drive, will be closed to motorized, bicycle and foot traffic beginning Sept. 8 for a yearlong construction project.

Bicyclists, motorists and pedestrians will be detoured to First Avenue and Lake, South Farwell, Washington and State streets. The bicycle/pedestrian trail that runs along the west side of the river under the bridge will be closed, and users will be detoured to First Avenue.  

The UW-Eau Claire footbridge will remain open to bicyclists and pedestrians during the Water Street bridge project.

Boaters and tubers still will be able to access the river during the bridge project, but caution is strongly urged in the construction zone at all times, said Chris Ouellette, communication manager for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's northwest region.

The Water Street bridge project includes replacing the structure with a new bridge that will be wider to accommodate both bicycles and pedestrians and include two six-foot-wide bicycle lanes and a raised sidewalk on each side.  

Plans for the project also include a right-turn lane at First Avenue, taller railings, decorative lighting, scenic overlooks and a light under the bridge for the bicycle/pedestrian trail. 

The Water Street bridge construction project is scheduled to be completed in September 2016. More details about the project are available on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation projects website.