Woodstock’s downtown parking lot project work continues

Lemuel Hancock, urban designer and neighborhood planner for the Town of Woodstock, said work continues on finalizing details of the downtown parking lot project on the east side of the 100 block of South Main Street before construction begins.

Town officials have worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, which is the financing agent, and property owners to finalize the 30-year lease agreement. The agreement calls for  reasonable changes made to “ensure all parties are satisfied with the agreement and that it meets all USDA Rural Development standards.”

The town will also need to solicit bids for the project in compliance with all local, state and federal requirements. Once the bid is received through that process, town officials will sign a contract with that company, he added.

“We hope the progress will proceed quickly once construction starts,” he said. “We hope to be complete within four to five months of construction beginning.”

To finance the project, he said, they have a loan with USDA Rural Development for up to $650,000. However, they will learn the actual construction costs associated with the project after the receipt of the project bids. A grant has also been secured from  Virginia Trees for Clean Water to fund a portion of the tree planting.

Waterstreet Studio developed the project’s site plan and includes stormwater management through permeable paving, upgraded stormwater pipes and bioretention. Tree planting will enhance the urban tree canopy and a pedestrian walkway will connect East Court Street to the parking lot. Outdoor seating and a gathering space behind Woodstock Café & Shoppes and Walton & Smoot Pharmacy are included as well.

Planning for the project began in 2013, followed by a 2014 preliminary engineering report. The project then received approval in 2015 to become a Capital Improvement Plan project. A geotechnical survey was completed and Waterstreet Studio was hired in 2016 as the landscape architecture and engineering firm.