Construction of a redesigned parking lot at the Glen Ellyn Public Library intended to improve traffic flow and make it easier for patrons to drop off books is now complete.
The refurbished lot opened Wednesday -- three weeks ahead of the established construction schedule and two weeks after work crews started breaking up the old asphalt.
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The project was completed sooner than expected because the library's contractors made allowances for several possible rain days in the construction schedule, said Heidi Gustad, the library's marketing coordinator.
"Luckily we were on the positive end of the drought of 2012," Gustad said.
Officials said the old lot, built 16 years ago, was showing signs of deterioration.
A new entrance was added on the west side of the lot, and the old entrance on the east side became an exit. As a result, the flow of traffic in the lot has been reversed.
That also means drivers will have better access to the library's book drop box, which is now on their side of the car instead of the passenger's side. Patrons will still have to open their doors to get to the book drop, but they will now be stepping onto a sidewalk instead of into traffic, officials said.
The number of parking spaces in the lot increased from 96 to 98.
Library staff members were helping direct the traffic in the parking lot Wednesday, and were expected to be back on Thursday.
"It's nice to have people out there because many people have it ingrained that they were going to turn right, but they need to go straight," Gustad said. "The staff is going to be shifting in and out tomorrow and drinking lots of water ... We're used to having sweaters for being in the air conditioning all day. But now we're passing around the sunscreen."
The library paid $188,885 for the lot improvements, with construction done by Abbey Paving of Aurora and overseen by Jacob & Hefner Associates, a Lombard-based engineering consulting firm.