WASHINGTON — Part of Ellicott City’s flood-ravaged Main Street will reopen to the public for the first time since a flash flood tore through its historic downtown last month killing two people and causing millions in damages to local businesses.
Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman said officials would start to relax the “no-access” area surrounding Main Street this week.
To start, the western end of Main Street from Ellicott Mills Drive to Court Avenue, will be reopened Wednesday, Kittleman said in a statement. That area sustained relatively minor damage in the flood, he said. In addition, parts of Old Columbia Pike, which connects with Main Street, will also reopen.
These changes also will allow businesses at the western end of Main Street, which had been shuttered since the July 30 flash flooding, to reopen.
Kittleman, said on-street Main Street parking would remain prohibited.
“Main Street remains a major construction site,” Kittleman said in the statement. “Please, if you don’t have a real reason to be here, don’t come just to gawk or sightsee. Many have asked, ‘How can I help?,’ Well, that’s one of the ways.”
The lower-lying, eastern portion of Main Street, which was harder hit by the flooding remains off-limits to the public. Owners of businesses on Tiber Alley at the eastern end of the street will be granted access to buildings to continue cleaning up, Kittleman said.
Later this week, crews plan to repave Merryman and Hill streets, which both intersect with the western end of Main Street.
Major work remains to be done, Kittleman said, including installing sidewalks and stabilizing buildings.
Crews need to install a new natural gas line along part of Main Street to reconnect gas lines to about 70 properties, Kittleman said.
Officials hope to reopen the Patapsco River bridge and restore access to the rest of Main Street by early September.
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