Mayor Don Wesely today announced that a recently-signed agreement between the city and the U.S. Postal Service will clear the way for more public parking in the Haymarket area of downtown Lincoln.
Under the agreement, the city will develop new surface parking directly west of the Post Office building at 7th and "R" streets on land purchased from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. About 80 parking spaces in this area will be set aside for postal employee parking.
The city will lease the current Post Office parking lot southwest of the building, where existing brick walls will be removed and new lighting will be added. This area, which has been employee parking, will be combined with the public parking lot north of Lincoln Station at 7th and "Q" streets. The project will open up about 70 new public parking stalls in addition to the 90 that are now in the lot north of Lincoln Station.
Wesely thanked Lincoln Postmaster Doug Emery and the U.S. Postal Service for working closely with the city to finalize the complex agreement after nearly a decade of negotiations. He also praised U.S. Rep. Doug Bereuter for keeping a careful eye on the discussions and making sure progress continued.
"We all recognize that with the great success the Haymarket enjoys, there is tremendous demand for more parking," Wesely said. "I deeply appreciate the cooperation and support the city has received from the Postal Service and Congressman Bereuter. Without their assistance, we would not have realized this opportunity to improve service to the public."
Parking lot user fees will cover project costs, estimated at $200,000 to $250,000. Design work already is under way. Construction will begin mid-summer and should be completed this fall.