City of Huron
City officials aim to revamp Main Street
Jan 19, 2014 at 11:30 AM
Main Street: The mecca and pride of most communities, where residents gather, employers locate and entrepreneurs provide entertainment options for all. In Huron, however, these groups shy away from a portion of Main Street. A discontinuous, confusing traffic pattern has created a barren business environment on North Main Street by South Street.
In the late 1960s, officials began barricading off Main Street to construct parking lots by where the Huron Boat Basin and Amphitheater exist today.
People today traveling north on Main Street near the Huron Public Library must detour onto Williams Street and then South Street to access North Main Street businesses such as Comfort Inn River’s Edge, Riverview Lanes and the North Main Pier.
“There is underwhelming development there because there is poor access” Huron city manager Andy White said. “The average visitor to this community doesn’t know how to get around there. This is an obstruction or impediment to development”
In an ongoing effort to enhance Huron, city officials devised a three-phase, $1.5 million plan in hopes of once again linking Main Street’s entire corridor.
Part one, costing $525,000, calls for reconnecting Main Street between Cleveland Road West to South Street by paving a road through existing parking lots.
An engineer’s rendering shows the road cutting through the parking lot’s western portion. It appears several dozen parking spots will remain, primarily for boat basin traffic and amphitheater events.
Construction should begin sometime this spring or summer, with the entire phase slated to finish by year’s end.
“The reunification of the Main Street corridor, and to have one unified Main Street, will open up new community and economic development on the north end of the city,” White said. “The city is sensitive to the potential of construction obstructing traditional events, and as such, it will try to schedule construction activities around these events”
A new route will also make the area safer, project engineer Gene Esser said. Esser’s company, Krock Esser Engineering, contracts with Huron for major projects such as this.
“Right now, you are running traffic through residential areas (Williams and South streets) and that becomes a safety concern,” Esser said. “But it will be less of a concern once this happens”
The scheduled upgrades circle back to Huron’s $9 million master plan — a decade-long blueprint aimed at luring businesses while also persuading people to stay and move into Huron. The plan also calls for linking several city landmarks, parks and neighborhoods, with an emphasis on highlighting waterfront features.
Huron city council members plan on discussing this plan at the Jan. 28 meeting. Any community member is welcome and encouraged to speak.
At least one person already supports the plan.
“I applaud the city officials for pushing this forward so that we can let business owners on that end of Main Street continue to proposer,” said Gary Gilbert, owner of Riverview Lane. “It’s going to entice more renovations and attract more people down that way”