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Posted: July 25, 2013 South Barstow Construction to Be Done Early!

After more than two months of construction on South Barstow Street, the downtown reconstruction project is nearing completion, according to Doug Derks, the main contractor of the project. The contractors are now working to meet an incentive date of Aug. 6, he said.

“I am so excited about our beautiful new look on South Barstow Street. Everyone will want to be Downtown,” said Cindy Wing-Reed, owner of B-Framed Galleries.

Work began on South Barstow May 28, and was set to be finished August 16. In the contract was an incentive/disincentive approved by the City Council to ensure timeliness of completion, said Derks.

  The contract states the contractor, Haas Sons, Inc., will receive $5,000 for each calendar day the construction is completed early. The maximum incentive, said Derks, was set for 10 days, making the new finish date Aug. 6.

By that date, South Barstow Street must be open to vehicle traffic with sidewalks completed and the clay brick pavers installed in the crosswalks in order to receive the incentive money, said Derks. The lighting, clay brick pavers in the boulevards and planting are not required to be finished to meet the early incentive date.

Also in the contract was a disincentive provision stating the contractors would lose $5,000 for every calendar day the project wasn’t finished beyond the original Aug. 16 deadline. The disincentive had no limits on the number of days.

Mike Carlson, president of the South Barstow Street Business Improvement District, said there will be a lot of excitement with the earlier finish date.

“It’ll mean a lot for the businesses," Carlson said. "With construction being done early that’ll mean hopefully business will get back to normal a little more, and hopefully business will pick up.”

Wing-Reed expressed her gratefulness for the construction crew’s hard work and knows that her customers and staff will be happy with the early opening.

“The construction crews have been so thoughtful and have done such a great job with all their hard work and dedication to complete the street early for us,” Wing-Reed said. “Our framing customers and art collectors will be thrilled to have the road open so much sooner than we anticipated. I know my staff will be happy, too. I can’t wait."

To celebrate the opening of the street, Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony. The ceremony is tentatively scheduled for 12 p.m. Aug. 7 at the corner of South Barstow Street and East Grand Avenue. For updates check Downtown Eau Claire’s website,

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