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Garage Construction Accelerates This Month 
Up til now, the construction preparation work for adding two new decks to the State Street Garage has been barely noticeable. Crews have been installing micropiles to strengthen the support structure, and coring hundreds of holes to accommodate the addition of the new pieces of deck.

But the nature of the work will change starting at the end of October.

Installation of prefabricated sections of new deck will begin Nov. 5.

On Monday, Oct. 29, Central Street will be closed between Union and Clinch avenues. Then by the end of that week, a large crane will arrive and be set in place. And then, on Monday, Nov. 5, the real work starts: The crane for the rest of the year will be hoisting large slabs of prefabricated concrete decks as the parking additions are set in place.

The City's $11 million expansion will add 570 new parking spaces in the heart of downtown.

The first phase of work will be winding down just before the December holidays. Then, in January, Central Street will reopen, and the crane will be relocated to the west side of the garage, closing at least one lane of State Street. 

The garage expansion is scheduled to be completed in June 2019.

Downtown visitors will feel the temporary loss of parking spaces during construction. At first, slightly more than half the garage’s current 1,082 spaces will be unavailable; 528 spaces will remain in use.

The number of available spaces will fluctuate throughout the project, based on safety precautions and where work is being done. For example, at year’s end, the number of available parking spaces will increase to 741. But starting Jan. 7, 2019, the number of available spaces will drop to 573.

“In the long term, we’re adding more parking to better serve visitors, residents and workers as our downtown continues to grow," said Downtown Coordinator Rick Emmett. "There will be short-term inconvenience, for sure, but the City and the Public Building Authority are working hard to minimize the inconvenience."

Three technological tools will help with traffic flow in and out of the garage - or simply give motorists information so they can select the right place to park.

A year ago, sensors that count available parking spaces in real time were installed in Market Square Garage. The same space-counting system is in the final stage of installation in the State Street, Locust Street and Main Street garages.

A digital display outside each garage entrance shows the number of available parking spaces at that minute. So a motorist can avoid the frustration of driving into the garage, circling the floors and not finding a space if the garage is full.

Soon, Parkopedia will be sharing that information, available through either a phone app or its website. (Currently, only the parking space count information on the Market Square Garage is available. The data sharing for all the garages should be available in about a week.) A motorist, before leaving the house, will be able to check and see which City-owned garage to head toward, based on the availability of real-time parking.

The third technological upgrade is the addition of credit card and debit card machines at City garage exits. Instead of having to wait in a line of vehicles to pay an attendant, a motorist can go to any exit and pay using a card.

Posted by evreeland On 11 October, 2018 at 1:28 PM