Ellicott City’s flood-damaged Main Street to reopen to cars, pedestrians this week

WASHINGTON — Nearly two months after floodwaters surged through Ellicott City’s historic downtown, flood-ravaged Main Street will fully reopen to two-way vehicle traffic and pedestrians later this week.

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman and council member Jon Weinstein announced Main Street will reopen Friday at 5 p.m. The Ellicott City thoroughfare had been blocked off to through traffic since the May 27 flood.

The county said Kittleman also plans to sign an executive order ending the state of emergency 10 days earlier than scheduled, after it had been extended by the County Council.

The flash flooding — the second time in as many years that so-called 1,000-year flooding overtook downtown Ellicott City — left one man dead, damaged dozens of building and led to millions of dollars worth of damage.

Official reopened Main Street to residents and property owners last month.

“We wanted to make sure that the residents, businesses and merchants on the lower end of Main Street had the opportunity to safely secure their buildings,” Kittleman said in a statement. “We’ve worked hard to reasonably balance their needs with those of the businesses that have already reopened. We feel we can now safely reopen the entire street and our police officers will continue to have a round-the-clock visible presence.”

Even after the street reopens, parking restrictions will remain in place. In general, parking on Main Street will be prohibited between Maryland Avenue and Old Columbia Pike. Only short-term parking — for loading and unloading — will be allowed on that part of Main Street, the county said.

Even after Main Street reopens Friday, temporary closures may continue to pop up, as much of the area remains essentially a construction site, officials. Large dumpsters that have been placed along the street will remain there, and officials are urging drivers to stay below the posted 25 mph speed limits.

Meanwhile, other streets that suffered damage in the flooding will remain closed.

Ellicott Mills Drive will likely remain closed through the late fall, the county said, so crews can repair a culvert and parts of the road that were washed away during the road.

Hamilton Street is expected to be closed through September for repairs. New Cut Road, which was also heavily damaged, will remain closed “for the immediate future,” the county said, with only limited access to local traffic.

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