Downtown parking lot is under construction

Work started this week on a new parking lot with amenities in downtown Elk River.

A new parking lot with amenities in downtown Elk River was under construction Wednesday.

A one-way alley from Main Street to parking areas behind Jackson Avenue businesses was closed Wednesday, May 23, and equipment began working on the new parking lot.

The Elk River Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) had voted earlier this month to award the bid for the parking lot to Peterson Companies Inc. The Chisago City company bid $163,250.

The parking lot will be located at 716 and 720 Main, where the HRA recently demolished two buildings. It will have 23 standard parking spaces and two handicapped-accessible ones. A pedestrian pathway will be located roughly where the alley has been.

A sign alerted motorists that a one-way alley from Main Street to parking areas would be closing.

The new lot, known as the Main Street Parking Plaza, will also include stone slabs, benches and trash receptacles as well as some landscaping.

Motorists will access the parking lot at Main Street and King Avenue.

Elk River Director of Economic Development Annie Deckert said Thursday that the lot is anticipated to be complete by June 22, although the weather has slowed operations slightly.

Work at the site was expected to continue Friday, weather permitting, then break for the Memorial Day weekend before resuming on Tuesday.

“We are really pushing forward to ensure the project is complete so we can kick off the Farmers Market downtown,” she said.

The Farmers Market is scheduled to open June 28 in the new lot. The market previously was located in the parking lot of Westbound Liquor.

In a related matter, work continues to finish the wall of Elk River Meats, which was exposed when the buildings next door were demolished. Deckert said the wall should be completed by the end of the month. The wall overlooks the new parking lot area.