Calle nears completion

The water and electric lines are in and the final paver stones are being laid on Ashland's Calle Guanajuato, which has been closed since last fall for a major renovation.

Project organizers say the popular scenic walkway behind Plaza shops and along Ashland Creek will be ready for outdoor restaurant seating and the Lithia Artisans Market during the May 2-3 weekend.

The new concrete pavers blend grays with light pinks in a herringbone pattern and create a meandering, 8-foot-wide walkway that matches the contour of Ashland Creek, said Rachel Dials, recreation supervisor for the Ashland Parks and Recreation Department.

A grand opening celebration will be held in May, with restaurants and craft people invited to present special food and attractions. Elected officials will give speeches.

There will be a "substantial completion" meeting with the contractor, Kogap, the day before.

The market and outdoor seating normally start April 1, but the project was delayed by weather and unexpected encounters with old building foundations, Dials said.

Archaeological work on the site was finished by November 2013, with many Indian flakes and artifacts found, along with bits of pioneer refuse. The site was a pioneer midden, or dump, in early years.

The paver project was started because of unsafe surfaces and multiple pedestrian mishaps on the walkway, said Dials. Since it was already being torn up, the water and electric departments took the opportunity to replace aging wires and pipes.

The parks department spent $286,600. Water lines cost $75,800 and electrical ran to $25,300, she said.

John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. E-mail him at

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