By Brandi Makuski
The Downtown District will become home to one more one-way street this weekend.
City crews will close Ellis St. between Church St. and Strongs Ave. on Saturday in order to implement a new city ordinance on the roadway.
What is now a two-way length of road will become a westbound one-way on April 30. Crews will change pavement markings to include angled parking, which will make room for 13 additional parking stalls, and place new signage along the one-block stretch of road.
The city approved the change as a compromise late last year after the city council turned down a request by Sentry Insurance to expand the existing parking lot of its downtown office building. Under city ordinance, all businesses must maintain a certain number of parking spaces relevant to their square footage. Exceptions can be made if a business has a limited lot size, when it can apply to become declared a “constrained site”.
The downtown location of Sentry is one such property. The parking lot, bordered by Clark and Ellis streets, has only 326 stalls. Without the city-approved exemption, the 124,000-square-foot building would be required to have 416 stalls. Other large-scale companies in the city, to include Ministry St. Michael’s, are also granted exceptions under the ordinance.
Ellis St. will be closed on Saturday from 6 AM to 3 PM to implement the changes.