ASHLAND – You know what they say – “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” The same can be said for planning Ashland’s biggest event of the year, Stir-Up.
Stir-Up organizers learned early in the year that one of the main thoroughfares through town would be torn apart to widen the road. Currently, Highway 66/14th Street is not passable from just north of Silver Street to 14th and Furnas streets, with the exception of the intersection at 14th and Clay Street.
When the project started, original plans called for the intersection at 14th and Silver to be torn apart at that time as well. Due to an incredible amount of rainfall in the last several weeks, the project is behind and the pivotal intersection remains open.
Travel to and through Ashland is still a challenge, but not impossible. Stir-Up Coordinator Teresa Livers said it’s important to spread the word that Ashland is open for business and Stir-Up is being held.
“We need to make it as easy as possible for visitors to find us without too much extra hassle,” she said. “It may be a bit more inconvenient than in year’s past, but it can be done.”
In an attempt to help visitors find the community, organizers have prepared a simple set of directions for finding Ashland from all directions.
If headed to Ashland from the north, take Highway 66 to County Road A. Turn right and go to County Road 6. Turn left onto Road 6 and follow to Ashland Road (pavement). Turn left at Ashland Road and follow into town. Be mindful of flag men at the curve by the Ashland Gun Club as dirt work is being done.
Another option is to take the official detour on Guard Camp Road, which is also known as County Road A, going to the east. Follow Guard Camp Road to Highway 6. Turn right on Highway 6 and travel to just past U-Stop. Take a right at Silver Street, go under the bridge and stay on that road. Take a right at 13th Street to Clay. Take a left at Clay Street and follow across Silver Street.
These same directions apply to anyone coming to Ashland from the east, such as Gretna or Omaha, on Highway 6.
Travelers from the west have two options for easy entry into town. Follow Highway 6 to just before U-Stop (Silver Street). Turn left and follow to 13th Street, turn right at 13th to Clay. Turn left onto Clay and across Silver. The other option for travel from the west is to come in via Ashland Road to 16th Street. Turn right onto 16th and follow to your destination.
And finally, those wanting to enter Ashland coming from the south should come in on Highway 6, turn left onto Silver Street, right onto 13th Street, left onto Clay Street and across Silver Street.
Regardless of how you get into Ashland, if parking is needed, City Administrator Jessica Quady said people are free to park at the NRD grounds near the Silver Street bridge over Salt Creek and walk to activities on Silver Street.
Because several downtown streets will be in use during Stir-Up for various activities, residents and visitors may have to seek alternate routes as they travel through the community.
Silver Street will be blocked for most of the day and night on Saturday and throughout the day on Sunday from 14th Street to 18th Street. Also, 15th Street will be in use from Ash Street to the intersection of Adams Street on Saturday and Sunday.
On Sunday, cars will be lined up on 16th Street from Ash to Adams for the Car Show. Ash Street will not be a through street during the Car Show as well.
For those drivers trying
to make their way through Ashland’s streets, keep in mind that Clay Street is open despite the road construction. Access to the area east of Highway 66/14th Street is available via Clay Street.