Parking lot changes in the works at Columbia Public Library

Thursday, February 16, 2012 | 12:18 p.m. CST; updated 8:58 p.m. CST, Thursday, February 16, 2012

COLUMBIA — Plans are in the works to reconfigure parking lot entrances and repave the south parking lot at Columbia Public Library.

There are several cracks and holes in the concrete surface of the south parking lot, said Mitzi St. John, spokeswoman for the Daniel Boone Regional Library. Last year's winter weather was hard on the surface, she said.  

An engineering firm has estimated it will cost $195,000 to put new asphalt on the south lot with a 10- to 15-year lifespan and add curbs. The project has not gone out for bids yet, St. John said.

The 2012 budget includes $395,250 to cover all parking-lot-related expenses, she said.  

The considered changes at the south parking lot to reduce traffic backups on Garth Avenue and to minimize pedestrian-vehicle interactions are:

  • Making the entrance closest to the library a one-way exit rather than an entrance and an exit. In addition, a turning apron for large trucks would be added.
  • Widening the exit-only lane at the south end of the parking lot and making it become both an entrance and exit.

July is the earliest construction would begin, St. John said.

Both the repaving and parking lot reconfiguration await approval from the Daniel Boone Regional Library Board. The projects are up for discussion at 6 p.m. today when the board meets in the Virginia G. Young room at the Columbia Public Library.

Wes Bolton of Allstate Consultants, an engineering firm in Columbia, said construction at the south lot would result in the loss of five to seven parking spaces out of 130.

The library also has a north parking lot with 104 additional spaces, St. John said. 

Costs for changing the exits and entrances are estimated at $25,000 to $50,000. The estimates do not include any impact of the storm water ordinance, landscaping work, removing and reinstalling light fixtures, possible electric work, work on a retaining wall and costs to administer the project.

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Richard Saunders February 16, 2012 | 1:28 p.m.

That's awesome how they give costs estimates that don't include most of the costs. I guess those numbers would be too big and demonstrate the unaffordability of the project.

As for having to redesign the parking lot, why don't they sue the original engineering firm they paid big bucks too for their failed design? If an engineering firm cannot even design a functional parking lot, I'd say they were vastly overpaid. This isn't rocket science, after all.

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