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Depot Square gets $500k jump start

IRONTON — Downtown’s Depot Square has received a half-million dollar shot in the arm towards the reconstruction of a historic landmark.

The $500,000 influx of cash, secured by the KYOVA Interstate Planning Commission, rounds out the nearly $1 million price tag for renovate and convert to 4,000 square-feet of the historic Berg Building for use as a transit hub for the Tri-State Transit Authority’s Ironton bus lines.

Officially called the Lawrence Intermodal Transit Center, the depot will have a waiting area with wireless internet access, public restrooms, vending options along with room for office space.

The remaining $500,000 for the project was secured via stimulus monies made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The funding obtained through KYOVA comes from the sub-allocation of Ohio state highway funding in the form of a grant.

“This is another step forward in improving downtown and we appreciate KYOVA’s effort in making funding possible,” said Ironton Mayor Rick Blankenship.

With funding for the bus depot complete, construction bids will be drafted and placed in July with awards being made in August, Blankenship said. Construction is tentatively scheduled to start in September and last about a year.

Planning and construction on the project is anticipated to bring approximately 20 jobs to the city

Public bus service returned to Lawrence County in 2008 for the first time since the early 1970s. Currently, TTA operates three bus routes within the city of Ironton.