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Hastings Way Redesign Public Meeting

Submitted by Editor on May 19, 2010 – 10:11 pm | Print or Email »One Comment

Like many of you, the Eastside Hill Neighborhood Association was contacted by the City of Eau Claire about the upcoming public input meeting for the Hastings Way reconstruction project – expected to start in 2011. Hastings is a major road in the city and in the neighborhood. It’s our eastern border, but in it’s current form, it’s also a kind of barrier blocking foot and bicycle traffic from the businesses and residents on the other side. Our input on the redesign is among the city’s most valuable. This is an important opportunity to learn and be heard.

The meeting (the first in a series) is scheduled for Thursday, May 27, 5:00 to 7:00 pm, at Regis High School (2100 Fenwick Avenue). There will be a short presentation at 5:30 pm. You can download a general invitation for the meeting here and a great Frequently Asked Questions sheet here. A few bits of info:

  • The project involves 1.4 miles of Hastings Way from Clairemont Avenue north to the Eau Claire River bridges.
  • The land use planning and roadway design development will occur over the next six (6) months with a goal to have a final concept design approved in the Fall of 2010. Construction is planned to occur from April – October, 2011.
  • Since the opening of the new Highway 53 Freeway, average annual daily traffic volume in the section south of Main Street has decreased 56% from 48,300 in 2003 to 21,100 in 2008.
  • At the present time it is not anticipated that any business or home acquisition or relocation will be required for the project.
  • Changes to the roadway will be dependent on public input, a traffic analysis, intersection design, and future land use planning efforts

Info is provided by Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc., the company who won the Hastings Way project.

If you’d like some inspiration for what’s possible with the Hastings Way project, Volume One Magazine just released a theme issue called “Reinventing Our Streets.” It includes a terrific article about the recent history and future of Hastings Way, as well as an amazing “extreme make over” style mock-up with some great ideas. At the very least, it should get you thinking!

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One Comment »

  • B Hndrsn says:

    Historical Perspective…

    From the Leader -Telegram in 2007

    Council questions payment for road
    DOT offers money before work on Hastings Way is finished
    By Julian Emerson
    Leader-Telegram staff

    A state Department of Transportation proposal to pay the city of Eau Claire upfront for work on part of the Hastings Way reconstruction could give the city added flexibility in redesigning the former U.S. 53.

    The downside? Depending on how much the state is willing to fork over, the city might have to live within those DOT-imposed cost constraints.

    “Do we have any assurance the state money is going to cover our costs?” Eau Claire City Council member Hal Davis asked Public Works Director Brian Amundson during Monday’s council meeting.

    The answer may depend on whether a four-or six-lane road replaces the highway. Traffic counts along the southern segment of Hastings have dropped about 50 percent since the U.S. 53 bypass opened a year ago but are projected to increase.

    For instance, estimates call for the traffic count along the Highland and Brackett avenues section of the road to total 30,800 by 2028.

    “It’s tough to say how many lanes we would need, and that really makes the design part of this difficult,” Amundson told the council.

    As part of the bypass project, the city will take over responsibility for maintaining Hastings Way. The state is scheduled to pay the city $2.52 million toward that effort, a figure based on projected 20-year maintenance costs.

    That money will cover some improvements, but the city will incur other road redesign costs such as planned bicycle and pedestrian paths.

    Hastings Way reconstruction has been broken into three phases, with construction of the northernmost part, from North Crossing to Hogarth Street, set to begin next month. Reworking the segment from North Crossing south to the Eau Claire River is slated for 2009, with the Eau Claire River to Clairemont Avenue scheduled for completion in 2010.

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