WALLINGFORD — Work on a temporary parking lot on the downtown Wooding-Caplan property is on or ahead of schedule and should be completed before the Celebrate Wallingford festival early next month. The Town Council asked for the 100-space parking lot to be ready for last year’s festival and in July some councilors were concerned it might not be ready for this year’s event.
“The bottom line is the lot should be available,” Town Engineer John Thompson said Monday. “Generally everything is on or ahead of schedule.”
The festival will be held Oct. 5 and 6.
The project hit several roadblocks over the past two years. Permitting issues with the state held up construction last summer. There was confusion earlier this summer over whether work would be put out to bid or done the Public Works Department. It was decided work would be done by Public Works, but other projects were given a higher priority. Concerns that the lot might not be ready for the festival prompted an inquiry from the Town Council in August.
“Certainly things are progressing,” Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. said Monday.
The project includes widening and paving Wallace Avenue, an alley that connects Center Street to the 2.9-acre property near the corner of Center and North Main Street. The parcel was purchased by the town in 1991 for $1.5 million.
Road millings from repaving projects in town will be reused to create the asphalt lot. Parking spaces will be striped once the millings are down. Wallace Avenue will likely be paved near the end of this week, Dickinson said. As part of the project, new sidewalks and permanent lighting will be installed along the avenue. It’s still unclear if the lights and sidewalks will be completed by the festival, Thompson said.
“I hesitate to say it will be 100 percent,” he said.
If permanent lights aren’t installed by the festival, temporary lights will be used, Dickinson said.
At total of $200,000 has been budgeted for the project.