Originally constructed in 1974 as part of the downtown urban renewal program, the parking garage has exposed steel columns, beams and decks that have corroded due to the salt used to treat snow in the winter. In addition, the drainage troughs on the decks have been corroded and they leaked water into the decks. In 2016, the City reinforced the ramps to the second level with wood to keep the second level deck open, but for safety reasons, closed the third level deck completely.
The corrosion issues will not go away. The parking garage continues to deteriorate. Left unchecked, the City will eventually be forced to close the second story deck as well.
City Council is looking into 3 options to remedy this situation:
1 ) Find a private party who is interested in purchasing and developing the property .
For more information on an expression of interest regarding the downtown parking garage see bid 23-01-05.
2) Deconstruct the existing garage and build a new one.
This option is estimated to cost more than 13 million dollars. City council finds this option least attractive due to the expense.
The City awarded a contract to Walker Consultants to perform an urban planning study in the City’s Downtown. The study area was limited to the east and west by the Beacon Streets, to the south by the river, and to the north by the railroad tracks. One purpose of the study is to determine the parking needs for the Downtown as more development (either commercial or residential) occurs in that area. For more information, see the parking solutions flyer.