UPDATE: Construction begins in riverfront redevelopment - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Construction begins in riverfront redevelopment

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A riverfront redevelopment project got underway Monday in Wausau.

The Wisconsin river shines near the entrance of the city's downtown. But the area surrounding it is not the same. The area was contaminated from years of pollutants.

"Past practices that nobody thought were hurting the environment actually are," said Brad Marquardt, director of Wausau Public Works.

The city of Wausau is now starting to transform the seven acres. Workers began changing an underground storm sewer back into its natural state as a creek.

"The main portion of the project is daylighting a stream that's been in our storm sewer for close to 100 years," said Marquardt.

Also being installed is a sanitary sewer and new water lines. The city says one of the changes is adding a waterfall.

Mayor Jim Tipple says the project will not take away from what Wausau already has to offer.

"One of the things we've been cautious about is to be complimentary with our downtown and not to compete with our downtown," said Tipple.

The city hopes to make the riverfront a key destination for residents and tourists. It also will open up new recreational opportunities on the Wisconsin River.

The mayor says the redevelopment gets the river area back to its roots.

"It's the reason why this town was formed people floated logs down and we need to get back to that," said Tipple.

He also says that the end product will benefit the entire city.

"In the end we're going to have a very attractive waterfront that everybody can use and again it'll add to our quality of life," Tipple said.

Officials from the department of public works say grant money is helping pay for the project. The department hopes to complete the sewer by next spring.


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