Work will begin this summer on a new set of sidewalk steps and paved pathway to improve handicapped access to the Lincoln Public Library, as well as replacement trees on Library Lane and landscaping on the building’s north side.
A “scissor walk” will be installed near the Library Line entrance to reduce the steepness of the sidewalk leading down to the entrance, along with new steps alongside.
The project was originally slated for 2016 after Town Meeting approved spending $53,904 for the work, but all of the subsequent contractor bids were too high, so the library went back to Town Meeting in March and received another $20,000, said Library Director Barbara Myles.
The improvements are one of several landscaping projects recommended in a 2014 report by library consultant Michelle Crowley Landscape Architecture of Boston. Also on their improvements list:
- Parallel parking spots on the Trapelo Road side
- A paved path looping counter-clockwise around the building from Five Corners to the Library Lane entrance, along with new plantings around the war memorial
- A stone wall, expanded patio and new landscaping on the Trapelo Road side
- More new trees farther down Library Lane
The total cost for everything recommended by the consultant was estimated at $250,000 in 2014. The library has applied for town funds under the Community Preservation Act but was turned down because the work did not qualify as creating “passive recreation,” Myles said. The 2016 and 2017 appropriations came from Capital Planning Committee funds.
The library eventually hopes to do everything in the consultant’s plan, but money, as always, is the issue. Next year the library plans to ask for money to pay for new central air conditioning units, because the current units are 28 years old and use freon, which will soon become unavailable for environmental reasons. School and community center projects are also in the planning stages for the town.
The Lincoln Garden Club is donating plants for the upcoming landscaping on the north side of the building. The new yellowwood trees on Library Lane will replace the crabapples that were cut down last year amid concerns that they were dropping petals and fruit on the sidewalk that created slippery conditions.
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