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Posted: July 1, 2013 South Barstow Street construction on schedule

With summer in full swing, so is the progress on the Barstow construction. City of Eau Claire officials said everything is still on schedule, while area businesses and customers learn how to deal with the minor headaches that come with all construction progress.

 

Doug Derks, deputy city engineer for Eau Claire, said the timeline is still as planned, with crews working on completing most the sidewalks.

 

The next step, Derks said, is laying the concrete pavement.

 

Erin Roesler, co-owner of Tangled Up in Hue, said the construction is offering challenges, especially for foot traffic outside, but it’s something the business can tolerate.

 

“(Business) is better than we expected,” she said, adding she knew it would be slow but was expecting it to be worse than it is.

 

The number one problem for business, Roesler said, is the lack of foot traffic, as customers may think the street and businesses are entirely closed.

 

“We've had customers … saying they didn't know it was OK to walk down the street,” she said.

 

Community member Bill Kruger said he visits the Barstow area about three times a week. He walks for exercise and rarely uses a car, and said dealing with the construction does not disrupt his routine too terribly.

 

“For my purposes it's not too bad,” he said.

 

Derks said to use caution while walking around construction like would normally be expected in a work zone.

 

The construction should be finished up by August 16.

 

Roesler said she hopes the newly constructed Barstow area will be more inviting for young entrepreneurs to invest in the downtown area, especially more retail restaurants.

 

“I'm really happy with the rate (construction is) moving,” she said. “It's hard on us financially right now but in the end it will be worth it.”

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