LEWISTON — Work on the city’s newest 378-space parking garage will kick off Monday, with crews preparing the site and moving heavy digging equipment into position.
Crews should begin digging out the pavement in the parking lot between Lincoln Street and the sawtooth-roofed Bates Mill Building No. 5 later this week.
“Site preparation should take two or three days, but we expect them to get started pretty quickly,” said Norm Beauparlant, Lewiston’s budget and purchasing director. “They have a pretty tight timeline and a lot of work to do.”
Work on the garage is scheduled to wrap up in December.
Beauparlant said crews should begin putting up a construction fence around the site Monday, bringing in heavy equipment and the construction trailer. The work should have little impact on Lincoln Street traffic until later this spring, when they begin building the metal structure for the garage.
The work will force about 120 people to find other parking places, including people working at other Bates Mill buildings. Beauparlant said the city has parking spaces available in the lot between the Mill No. 5 building and Main Street, on the gravel lot off North and Lincoln streets and in city lots farther south along Lincoln Street.
“We have them spread out, but we have room for everybody for the time being,” Beauparlant said. “They will all be accommodated.”
The City Council approved building the $4.96 million garage in March as part of an agreement with Bates Mill developer Tom Platz to increase parking downtown. According to that agreement, the city must provide 1,162 parking spaces through 2011.
The garage will be built southwest of the Mill No. 5 building along Lincoln Street. Councilors approved the site placement and design of the garage in November, including plans for 6,600 square feet of retail space.
Members of the newly-elected council reviewed the plans and construction bids in January, ultimately removing plans for the retail space.