Woodstock parking project moves forward

A downtown parking project in Woodstock is now open to bids as planning continues to move forward.

The town will accept bids through Nov. 14, said Lemuel Hancock, urban designer and neighborhood planner for the Town of Woodstock.

The downtown parking lot will be about .87 acres, or 38,000 square feet, behind the businesses on the east side of the 100 block of Main Street. The lot will consist of an upper and lower parking area, for a total of 56 parking spaces.

They are not sure when the project will begin.

“We want to begin construction soon but are cognizant of the holidays. We hope for a four month construction timeline,” Hancock said.

There is enough space behind Woodstock Cafe and Shoppes and Walton & Smoot Pharmacy to allow for a public gathering space with tables for seating.

“The project will improve access, reduce flooding and increase parking” he said.

A 30-year lease was previously worked out with all property owners.

The parking lot will be made with a porous material to allow storm water to soak through. Trees planted at the site will take in some of the water as well, helping manage runoff.

Hancock said the town has a cost for the project in mind but did not disclose that amount to avoid influencing possible bids.

“We will work with the lowest bid from a qualified candidate. We hope the bids will come in competitive,” Hancock said.

The project began with a 2014 preliminary engineering report that showed the town needed more downtown parking. A site study was conducted during the course of the next year. The town, also in 2015, received approval to become a Capital Improvement Plan project

Design work began in the spring of 2016. Waterstreet Studio of Charlottesville was hired as the landscape architecture and engineering firm.