By CHRIS EBERHART
The Garden Avenue parking lot in Bronxville will be temporarily unavailable while the village undertakes a two-phase drainage and refurbishing project.
Phase one, which began on June 30, is underway.
Underground chambers were installed to catch rainfall from the parking lot as well as runoff from surrounding areas. A drainage system will be constructed and connected to the existing storm drains along Garden Avenue.
The construction was done to the line of parking spots closest to the street, not the entire parking lot. That portion of the lot will be reconstructed with permeable concrete pavers, which are interlocking tiles allowing water to seep through the ground and into the chambers.
Once the underground chambers and pavers are installed, Bronxville Village Administrator James Palmer said the village will put in curbing and islands for additional plantings along with new lighting for the lot.
“All of this will help capture and treat storm water and reduce flooding risk in the immediate area and improve overall storm water quality,” Palmer said.
Phase two involves cosmetic improvements.
The remaining portion of the parking lot will be repaved, reconfigured to create an additional row of 12-hour merchant parking and restriped.
“More friendly angled parking will be installed, and handicap parking will be expanded and more conveniently located,” Palmer said. “So the improvements will not only assist with drainage and runoff from this lot, but result in an improved, beautified and more user-friendly parking lot to assist patrons visiting the downtown.”
Palmer said the village will also install modern parking meter technologies such as pay-by-phone, which utilizes an app to pay the meters.
The downside to the reconfiguration is the loss of 13 parking spaces, from 164 to 151 parking spots.
Palmer said the total cost of the project is estimated to be around $475,000, most of which is funded by a $350,000 grant through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation because the chambers will improve the quality of water that flows into the Bronx River. The remaining $125,000 will be bonded for by the village.
Palmer said the work is ahead of schedule, with phase two to be completed before September, so there “will be very little overlap” between this project and the Kensington Road condominium project, which will result in the temporary loss of 179 parking spaces. The Kensington Road parking lot will be closed starting July 21 and work on that development project will begin shortly thereafter.
If the drainage project isn’t completed by September, Palmer said the phase two’s cosmetic improvements will be done next summer when there is less demand for parking.