Why is it taking so long to complete the parking lot at the new main library on Goodwood Boulevard? Parking at the theater means a long walk in the weather and parking at the garden center means one has to walk through flooded walkways when it rains. Also that parking lot is full of holes and not marked and cars park in all kinds of directions.

Mary Stein, assistant library director, says that since the “soft open” of the library on Jan. 15, patrons have used temporary parking at either the BREC Theatre or BREC Botanic Garden Center.

The construction has included asbestos remediation, demolition of the original building and parking lot, ground preparation, construction of the shared Plaza and parking lot.

Delays occurred with the discovery of asbestos inside the building and in the cooling tower, which had to be tested and removed. The unearthing of an additional 20,000 square feet of concrete parking pad surrounding the old building created an additional setback. Those issues brought the project into the rainy season, which further impeded construction of the permanent parking lot.

Completion of Phase 1 will provide 150 parking spaces with access from Goodwood Boulevard. The public may also continue to park in the BREC Theatre or Botanic Garden Parking lots. The entrance to the parking lot may be somewhat congested, but this will be greatly improved once the entire parking lot is completed. Also, construction in the median area of Goodwood Boulevard may make access a bit of a challenge, but it is hoped this work will be completed within the next few weeks.

Once completed, the new parking lot will have 300 parking spaces, a drive/thru pick-up window, patron drop off, and access to the shared Plaza with BREC.

Speaking of rough surfaces …

Nicholson Drive (La. 30) between South Boulevard and Skip Bertman Drive had a major resurfacing done about three years ago. The roadway is already in poor condition in many places. Are there plans for new resurfacing?

Lauren Lee, a public information officer for the state Department of Transportation and Development, says: The 2010 resurfacing project was intended as a maintenance overlay project until a more in-depth rehabilitation can be completed.

DOTD, which will transfer Nicholson Drive, from Burbank to Government Street, to the city through the Road Transfer Program, has had preliminary discussions with the city about resurfacing the roadway prior to the transfer. However, the city expressed interest in making further changes to the roadway. If the city chooses a more involved roadway improvement, they will perform the resurfacing project. A final agreement has not yet been reached.

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