Main works of management of Lukiškių Square in Vilnius are over
From today, Lukiškių Square after reconstruction is again open for residents and guests of Vilnius City. During the year and a half, the main management works of the Square were carried out, its pathways were altered and constructed considering actual pedestrian flows. Vilnius City Mayor Remigijus Šimašius says that in future Lukiškių Square will be much greener than it had been until present – the planting of about 200 new trees is planned here.
“Today, for the first time, we are walking in the square which is already European and does not remind of the soviet times. Vilnius has been in needed for this renovation for too long; therefore, we decided to renovate not only the square itself, but also its approaches – the new asphalt covering is being laid in the section of Lukiškių Street between Vasario 16-osios and J. Tumo Vaižganto Streets, the pedestrian path near the Church of St. Apostles Philip and Jacob is under reconstruction and a completely new bicycle path will be constructed here. After reconstruction, this section of the street will have 3 traffic lanes, bi-directional traffic and a separate lane for public transport”, – says R. Šimašius.
According to him, the opening of the square marks the end of its main management works which were carried out for the first time in this square during the period of Independence of Lithuania.
During reconstruction of Lukiškių Square, more than 40 000 units of paving tiles, 15 000 granite slabs were laid and the paths of the square were covered with 262 tons of decorative macadam. Meanwhile, 40 provisional benches, 66 new street lamps, 9 network manholes and about 800 metres of piping have been installed in the square. In spring, the interactive fountain will start flowing which will be the only such fountain in the Baltic States, children’s playgrounds will be constructed and the monument, in the selection of which, from today, the inhabitants of the city are also invited to participate, will be erected.
“The interactive fountain – the novelty of the square, which everyone will be able to try out already in spring – has no analogues in the Baltic States. The fountain will be adapted in real-time to movements of people, dynamically changing forms and heights of water streams illuminated with changing colours. Furthermore, the fountain will not occupy the space because its sprayers and light fittings will be installed in the covering of the pavement of the square; therefore, when the fountain is switched off, it will be possible to adapt the square for other public needs in a few minutes”, – says Virginijus Pauža, the Director of the City Maintenance and Transport Department.
According to the Mayor of Vilnius, the City, taking care of landscape of Lukiškių Square, decided to preserve the green areas and improve conditions for growing of trees; therefore more than 200 new trees will be planted in Lukiškių Square. Purple and silver maple trees, lime trees, beeches, ashes, chestnut trees, oaks, elms, firs, hawthorns, pear-trees, bird-cherry trees, cherry-trees, yews will grow in the square.
The idea and concept of management of Lukiškių Square was developed by architects G. Čaikauskas and L. Naujokaitis. The reconstruction of the square lasted for a year and a half. The project estimate – EUR 3.7 million; the funds for the works were allocated by the Government of Lithuania. Another EUR 1 million was additionally allocated by the City for management of the approaches of the square.
Since archaeologists have also been working in the square, its northern part is still fenced today. In this part archaeological surveys are carried out at the places of paths, electrical cables and lighting poles. Many coins and household ceramics characteristic of cultural layers of XVII-XX centuries were found during surveys. Among the findings there are individual human bones, fragments of burying remains, and in the north-eastern part – remains of a building dating back to the end of XVII century – beginning of XVIII century.
On the occasion of opening of Lukiškių Square all Vilnius inhabitants and guests are invited to vote for their favourite idea of the prospective monument of Lukiškių Square. The stands presenting the designs of monuments will be demonstrated in the Square for almost the whole November and the wining monument will become clear at the end of the month.