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ASHLAND -- Ashland's Fourth Street isn't ready to reopen quite yet, but it when it is again accessible, it will function as a two-way street.
Ashland Source recently asked Mayor Matt Miller about the state of the downtown street after several readers posed the question: When will Fourth Street reopen?
"There's no definite date, but we’re getting dangerously close. It's right on the horizon," Miller said.
When asked if it would be complete by the end of summer, he was confident that would be the case.
Further, signage posted early this week along Fourth Street now indicates that change is possible by Aug. 7, 2020.
The section of Fourth Street between Miller and Cottage Streets has been closed due to the demolition of buildings once associated with the F.E. Myers Pump Company and the former Pump House Ministries property.
The last of the longtime eyesore was razed by Page Excavating in October 2019, but cleanup of the rubble has kept the road closed since then.
"If you have been by our Pump House site that we’ve been working on for the past year, it is getting a whole lot better quickly. It looks much better than it did," Miller said. "It will be complete, or at least leveled and cleaned up and then we’ll go to the next phase, figuring out how to install the urban meadow at that location."
When the rubble is removed, the former one-way street will be resurfaced from at least Orange to Union Streets and converted into a two-way road with parallel parking on one side from Miller to Cottage Streets.
"People can expect to see the street department erect signage very soon to notify the public of the coming changes to Fourth Street," Miller said.
Fourth Street is unusually wide for a city street, he explained, allowing for the two lanes of traffic and one lane of parking.
"While (the parking) may not be absolutely needed today, we expect it will be needed in the near future. It’s more of something we are going to institute for the many additions we hope to see on Fourth Street in the future," the mayor said.
The city will collaborate with a local nonprofit to create an area that features a "unique configuration of quiet spaces" and uses public art. Miller mentioned sculptures as a possible art form. The mayor anticipates this partnership will be announced later this year.
After the rubble is cleared, the property will be covered with top soil and planted with grass seed to create a green space until the urban meadow is created.