POINT PLEASANT — Upcoming construction on Hartley Square won’t stop traffic on Main Street though it will temporarily reroute it.
Beginning Monday, a temporary traffic pattern will be in place to allow the bricking of the intersection at Fourth and Main Street, which will be known as Hartley Square.
Street Commissioner Randy Hall and Mayor Brian Billings said Main Street will remain accessible during this construction period which Hall guessed could last up to three to four weeks, depending on weather.
“This is not meant to interfere with the merchants on Main Street, this is to beautify our city,” Billings said.
Hall also stressed the temporary traffic pattern had the merchants in mind, explaining the goal was to make sure this route would have no adverse effects on them.
At the intersection of 5th and Main streets, motorists can continue forward towards the flood wall, turning left to travel behind Peoples Bank and have access to the Post Office on 4th Street. Traffic will exit at the far end of the Post Office, across from the old Harris’ Steak House, and continue in a normal traffic flow. This is similar to the temporary traffic pattern put in place during the Mothman Festival. Parking will still be permitted and accessible behind Peoples Bank and the Lowe Hotel.
If residents want to access businesses in the 400-block of Main Street (between Peoples Bank and the Lowe Hotel) this can still be done. However, parking will only be allowed on one side of the street – the side with Peoples Bank, Handley Law Firm, Victoria’s Prom and Bridal, the Lowe Hotel, etc. There will be no parking on the opposite side of the street, essentially making this area of Main Street a two-way street. This allows those who have parked, to back up and exit the way they entered, with the option of turning left at 4th Street or right at 5th Street to exit.
Obviously, the intersection of 4th and Main streets will be blocked, however, cars will be allowed to enter 4th Street from Viand Street to allow access to the parking lots of Kittie’s Cafe and WorkForce West Virginia. Cars utilizing the parking lots will exit on that side of 4th Street as well. On the opposite of Gunn Park at 4th Street, which is typically one-way, motorists will have access to parking on that side of the street, which will be a two-way street temporarily, allowing them to exit the same way they entered.
The Hartley Square project includes the bricked intersection and the installation of a clock, which has already been placed and sits inside Gunn Park, at the far end of the park. To be clear, Gunn Park is still Gunn Park. This project, which is under the direction of Main Street Point Pleasant, is estimated to cost around $125,000, with $75,000 of that donated from the Hartley family of Mason County and the remainder of the funding coming through grants, according to Main Street Director Charles Humphreys. Though the city is the sponsoring agent through which the funds for all Main Street projects flow, no city funds are involved in project.
Humphreys said the brick color was chosen by a majority of business owners on Main Street. In addition to the Hartley Square project, Main Street Point Pleasant is also funding the return of Robert Dafford, the artist who created the flood wall murals. Dafford will be painting portraits of Chief Cornstalk and Gen. Andrew Lewis at the 4th Street entrance to Riverfront Park. More on this in an upcoming article.
Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.