Parking rehab project gets go-ahead

Marney Simon | 5/8/2019, 8:56 p.m.

A gravel lot across from the Rialto Square Theater will get a temporary facelift.

On May 7, the City Council approved a contract with P.T. Ferro of Joliet to construct a temporary parking lot alongside the current downtown paid lot across from the historic theater. The current lot holds $1 per hour public parking. The construction will add an additional 30 spaces.

City officials said the move would add needed parking in the heart of downtown.

P.T. Ferro will construct the lot for a contracted total of $49,228, slightly above the project estimate of $43,000. The city plans to have the lot paved by Memorial Day, which will make the lot available for downtown events starting in June, including the Joliet Public Library’s annual Star Wars Day, which kicks off the downtown street fest season on June 1.

The parking lot will be temporary. The site is part of the city’s long term plan to revamp the Chicago Street corridor, and is slated to eventually become part of an outdoor plaza. The city expects the lot to generate about $40,000 annually in revenue from the new paid parking spaces.

The city awarded the contract on May 7, but due to a clerical error on public notice, the committee will have to amend the budget later this month to provide the proper funding.