BISMARCK (AP) - Workers are adding 280 parking slots on the west side of the state Capitol in Bismarck to ease a space crunch that occurs every two years during the Legislature.
The $1.2 million project is the first part of a longer process to increase parking and improve landscaping on the Capitol grounds, Facilities Manager John Boyle said.
During the biennial legislative sessions, lawmakers take up 175 parking spots, leaving about 100 for visitors and lobbyists. That means many people have to park on the road that loops in front of the Capitol or on city streets.
"We're always concerned about a child or even an adult that might step out in-between a vehicle, and of course in wintertime in North Dakota there could be ice or snow on the road and people just sometimes don't slow down," Boyle said.
The new lot is to be done by November, in plenty of time for the start of the 2013 Legislature in January. Workers had to remove 56 trees for the expansion, but six are being relocated and 108 are being added around the perimeter of the lot, along with 500 other plant varieties.