Construction Starts Soon as New Streets Reshape Downtown Thoroughfare

July 13, 2023

Wausau Third Street extension pre-construction - facing south

As part of the revitalization efforts, downtown Wausau continues to transform as temporary two-way streets are being built to improve the area’s accessibility and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure.

“The new streets play a crucial role in the overall redevelopment of downtown Wausau, as they help to reshape the urban landscape, improve connectivity and enhance the pedestrian experience,” said Dave Eckmann, president of WOZ.

Wausau has collaborated with Becher-Hoppe to create the blueprint for new two-way streets with widened sidewalks, pedestrian lanes and parking. Starting next week, Integrity Grading & Excavating of Schofield will install utilities, including sanitary and storm sewer systems and water mains. The temporary streets will be ready in September, just in time for the opening of the Children’s Imaginarium in the fall.

Click on the image to see the new street plan

North Second Street is being extended, from Washington Street to Forest Street. Third Street is being extended to the south to meet Jackson Street. The streets and existing parking stalls on Washington Street will remain intact into 2024.

During the construction, there will be temporary traffic lane restrictions, with Forest Street and Second Street narrowing to one lane for approximately three weeks.

Eckmann emphasized that the restaurants, parking ramps and other businesses in the area will continue operating as usual and be fully accessible to the public. “Wausau remains open for business. Everyone is doing their part to keep commerce thriving throughout the redevelopment process,” he said.

In addition to the street renovations, the city is repairing parking ramps to improve the functionality and appearance of the area. “The former JCPenney and Sears parking ramps are undergoing maintenance contracts involving concrete and brick structural repairs. I expect these refurbishments to conclude soon,” said Allen Wesolowski, city engineer.

The city has also decided to rename some parking ramps and other significant locations. This rebranding effort seeks to align the area’s identity with the new developments unfolding in downtown Wausau.

Also, improvements to preserve the elevator shaft near the former JCPenney ramp are underway to weatherproof the elevator lobby roof. Wesolowski expects the elevator will be operating next year.

As downtown Wausau continues its journey toward revitalization, the new streets and parking upgrades bring the community closer to the heart of the city.

Parking Downtown

Parking in Downtown Wausau is convenient, with approximately 3,000 public parking spaces in three ramps and multiple lots within walking distance. For example, the Jefferson Street ramp at 425 N. First St. has nearly 800 parking spots. Street parking allows for two free hours on weekdays and free parking after 6 p.m. on weekends.

Click here for complete parking directions and locations, or manage parking with the Passport app.

Notice: The McClellun Street Ramp was recently closed and is expected to be torn down in 2024. For a current parking map, go here.



Refreshing changes are happening in Downtown Wausau. Wausau Opportunity Zone invites the community to stay informed by signing up for regular emails at, a site WOZ launched in 2021 to involve and engage everyone. WOZ is leading the charge toward a new era of prosperity by partnering with Greater Wausau Prosperity Partnership, local governments, businesses and organizations.  For more information, email