Two new garage decks are scheduled to open by June 12.
The end is near. Just a little over a month away, in fact.
City and Public Building Authority officials and Christman Co. managers say the two new decks on the State Street Garage should be open by June 12.
The City’s $11 million investment will create 570 new parking spaces in the heart of downtown. State Street Garage alone will accommodate about 1,600 vehicles once the project is complete and the new decks are open.
New elevators will service both the State Street and the Central Street sides of the garage – meaning, for the first time, it will be much easier for anyone with mobility issues to park and be able to navigate the steep climb from Central up to State and Gay streets. Using the pedestrian walkway connecting Gay Street to the garage, a person with a disability soon will be able to get from the middle of downtown to the Old City without the elevation barrier.
Work crews will be finishing up some other important details in the coming weeks. Work on the rebuild of the garage entrance from State Street is continuing, and sidewalk repairs on Central Street are more than 80 percent complete. Additional sidewalk replacement at State and Clinch Avenue will be done. An entrance canopy will be installed. And landscaping will be added around the sculpture and the State Street Garage entrance.
One big piece of the project that will not be finished by mid-June is the upgrade to the Clinch Avenue entrance. That work will continue into the summer, but otherwise, the garage expansion will be “substantially complete” by June 12, according to Downtown Coordinator Rick Emmett.
“Our downtown business owners, residents and visitors have been very patient throughout these past nine months,” Emmett said. “By and large, they recognize and appreciate the investment in our downtown, and the short-term pain is worth the long-term gain of 570 new parking spaces.
“From our end, we’re happy to be completing the expansion project on time and apparently within budget.”