Phoenix Park bridge

Aesthetic lighting added in 2017 to the Phoenix Park bridge can be programmed to glow different colors.

EAU CLAIRE — The city's Landmarks Commission will hold a hearing early next month to get comments from residents on whether a downtown pedestrian bridge should be deemed a local landmark.

Currently known as the Phoenix Park Bridge, the structure had been used to get trains across the Chippewa River during the late 19th and part of the 20th century.

Originally built in 1882, the bridge was replaced in 1903 with stronger, more durable structural materials that are still there today, according to its landmark nomination form.

For most of the bridge's life, it was owned by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railway, until it embargoed the rail line in 1980. The state bought the line then and later sold it to Eau Claire, which turned it into a pedestrian bridge in 1990.

The Landmarks Commission's public hearing has been scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9, and it will be held online using Webex videoconferencing software. As the hearing date nears, information on how the public can attend the meeting via computer, smartphone or tablet will become available on the city's website at