EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – After years of planning, the city of Eau Claire is set to break ground on a new transit center. The project will be a mixed-use development. Housing the main transfer spot for the city’s bus system and a boost for downtown. First News at Nine’s Max Cotton has the details.
Terry Duss frequently uses Eau Claire Transit to get around the city but admits he usually doesn’t use the current transfer center located just off south Farwell Street.
“I sit outside. I don’t even go in there but if there’s a nice place I’d go in there and look around,” said Duss.
Eau Claire Transit’s current structure has been in place since the mid-1980s and was meant to be temporary.
Now, more than three decades later, Interim City Manager Dave Solberg says the time has finally arrived for a more-permanent transfer center.
Solberg said, “Really to have the level of service that is expected and that the public needs both for mobility and for customer use and for convenience, a new transit center was needed and it was desired for quite a while.”
The city is now partnering with developer Merge Urban Development group for the project.
In addition to a new ground-level transit center with commercial space, the facility will have a parking lot and housing above it. Solberg says it’ll make the system more efficient and make Eau Claire more attractive to businesses looking to move in.
“Hopefully showing that employers coming to town if their future employees don’t wish to have a car, which seem to be the trends,” said Solberg.
The facility would also improve the experience for regular bus riders like terry Duss.
“That’d be awesome. Do a little shopping, you know, have a nice place, some decent bathrooms and some vending machines possibly. That’d be nice,” said Duss.
Solberg says crews will break ground in late spring or early summer. The new transit center portion should open late next year.
In Eau Claire, Max Cotton, First News at Nine.
While the new facility is under construction… The bus stop will be moved to a parking lot across the street. Solberg says the facility will cost around 7- million dollars to build. Five million of that is coming from a federal grant.