An open house has been scheduled by the city of Athens’ Department of Public Works for a proposed project that would extend Herrold Avenue to West State Street, as well as improve West Union Street.
The planned improvements would provide an alternative roadway access to the West State Street Park, Ohio University Innovation Center and other parts of Athens’ west side.
One of the main changes proposed is to extend Herrold Avenue to West State Street. The city hopes to hear feedback on the proposed extension, as it has not been set in motion.
Herrold Avenue starts next to Larry’s Dawg House on West Union Street and curves toward the uptown area. However, if it were to be continued straight, it would connect with West State Street near the OU Driving range. Currently, that area is only accessible via West State Street, which connects to Shafer Street and Central Avenue.
Two options for extending Herrold Avenue will be displayed at the open house.
The planned changes to West Union Street include upgrading the city-owned water, sanitary and storm utilities between the Route 682 bridge and the Shafer Street intersection.
The open house to discuss these changes and gather community feedback will be held Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 3-6 p.m. in room 103 of the Innovation Center, 340 W. State St. City representatives, as well as representatives of the design firm Strand Associates Inc., will be on hand to answer general questions and gather feedback.
Specific feedback the organizers are hoping to hear includes environmental and historical issues residents may be concerned about. There is no set schedule or programming planned for the open house.
However, information from the open house will be posted on the city website, ci.athens.oh.us, the following day and will be available for review and comment through Thursday, March 26. Questions can also be sent to 30 Curran Drive, Athens, or via email to email@example.com if citizens are unable to attend the open house.
This project is funded at least partially by a small cities grant awarded to the city of Athens by the Ohio Department of Transportation, amounting to $1.98 million.
Last year, Athens City Planner Paul Logue produced a series of videos discussing the city’s corridors and plans for these corridors. One such corridor is West Union Street, which is a 2.5-mile stretch of roadway with a mix of commercial, residential and industrial locations.
At the time, the biggest upgrade planned for West Union Street involved development plans from OU. The university is currently building a new medical school building on land near the intersection of West Union and Factory Streets, adjacent to the existing OU Human Resources Training Center. There are also changes planned to OU’s West Union Street Office Center (WUSOC) to have the building be used for College of Engineering needs. Offices currently located in WUSOC would be moving across the street.