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Cannery District to undergo major construction

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Eau Claire's Cannery District is slated to get a major facelift later this year. It's one of several street projects that are part of the city's 2020 plan.

Oxford Avenue, heading into the Cannery District, will be completely rebuilt.

The goal is to design the street so that it's similar to Barstow Street, but with what officials call a "different personality."

"Oxford Avenue will go from being kind of a run-down, tired street that we have now, to something more consistent with what we have in our revitalized areas of downtown," Dave Solberg, Engineering Director for the City of Eau Claire, said.

The new street will be designed to be more pedestrian and bike-friendly with benches and bike racks along the street. The plan also calls for moving old power lines, adding decorative light poles and lining the street with bricks instead of pavement.

The cost of the street's renovation, including new utilities underneath, is right around $1 million.

City officials said the street will be funded by a TID, and the utilities will be paid for by utility funds.

The initial concept will be proposed to the Eau Claire City Council in February. Solberg said he hopes construction begins by late spring.

Solberg added that during construction the city will work with businesses on Oxford Avenue to make sure there's as much access as possible, while also getting the word out that the businesses are still open.

Solberg said that if construction is able to begin by spring, the city hopes to have everything done by Labor Day at the latest.

A public hearing is scheduled in the future to receive input on if the city "hit the mark" when it comes to aligning the Oxford Avenue design to be consistent with downtown.

Solberg said he hopes the public finds the design renderings satisfactory.

McKenna Alexander

McKenna Alexander is the weekend anchor and a multimedia journalist for News 18. She started in June 2019. She was born in San Francisco, but spent the majority of her life growing up in Dallas.

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