by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Wilsonville's Memorial Park will soon be undergoing renovation to replace damaged paving like that shown in this photo. A long-term fix for some of the parking issues plaguing Memorial Park is now in the works and should be complete in time for the Christmas holidays.

The Wilsonville City Council recently awarded a construction contract to Canby contractor Jeff Kersey Construction to carry out a package of improvements to the park’s lower parking lot. The construction contract is worth $768,565 under a resolution adopted unanimously by the council. The project itself will consist of reconstructing and realigning the parking lot to create a safer, more efficient use of space.

Other costs will include $101,000 in additional consulting fees and a $14,000 public works charge, for a total project cost of $883,565. This is higher than initial estimates of roughly $750,000.

“The costs did come in a little bit high,” said Eric Mende, Wilsonville’s capital projects engineering manager.

Subsequent negotiations with Kersey Construction following bidding resulted in cost reductions and a final construction cost more in line with original projections.

Other savings, Mende said, were achieved by having the city’s public works department provide signs and pavement markings, substituting concrete curb stops for standard curbs in some locations, substituting a thickened asphalt section for concrete in a planned bus turnout and reducing the container size for some of the ground cover plantings.

“It was pretty apparent the difference was in four items,” Mende said. “So we renegotiated those costs down.”

Current parking lanes at Memorial Park run in a north-south direction; in the future this will be reversed and new lanes with diagonal stalls will be situated east to west. Additional parking lanes will be built in space adjacent to a ball field and immediately south of the current parking lot.

The project will also improve surface drainage to help avoid the sunken, cracked areas that have compromised the current parking lot. Work will also be done to improve lighting, provide a durable pavement structure, and upgrade stormwater treatment.

Finally, bicycle and pedestrian connections to the rest of the city are slated for upgrade alongside the improved parking and vehicle circulation.

Construction is scheduled to start this month and wrap up by the end of November.

“Staff believes the layout is good and staff believes it has a lot of positives,” Mende said. “We will have new lighting, improved drainage and in general be providing a safer and more efficient parking lot at Memorial Park.”

Despite the planned work, city officials will again re-examine the parking situation in a future parks master plan update. The park already becomes quite congested during periods of heavy use, and the planned work, while an improvement, likely won’t be enough to overcome a fundamental shortage of space.

“I’m sure the master plan will address alternatives to parking in the park too,” said Parks and Recreation Director Stan Sherer. “This isn’t enough.”

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