City hires engineers to inspect downtown parking garages, recommend repairs

Published 3:00 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2020

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen have approved an agreement with Stantec totaling up to $38,000 to investigate, assess and recommend repairs to the city’s two parking garages on Mulberry Street.

According to the agreement, the engineers will review and recommend improvements to make the parking garages Americans with Disabilities Act accessible, determine the use of elevators, assess the garages and recommend required needed repairs.

“Those parking garages are old and they’ve got some problems, so we’re going to get Stantec to come in and do a structural evaluation and see what we can do to get them ADA compliant,” public works director Garnet Van Norman said, adding Stantec has a structural engineer on its staff.

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According to the agreement, the city will pay Stantec $9,000 for the structural assessment of the garages and up to $29,000 for the ADA design and administration of the construction to make the modifications and repair the buildings.

The move comes after city employees Feb. 16 discovered a hole that had formed in the middle of the aisle on the top level of the four-level north parking garage at Mulberry and Clay streets, forcing the closure of the building’s top levels.

“That’s (the north garage hole) prompted all this,” Van Norman said. “We’re going to let them look at it and see what we have to do to fix them.”

Built in the 1970s, the city-owned parking garages at one time served as parking areas for Harrah’s Casino when it came to Vicksburg, and later for the Grand Station Casino, which closed in 2012. The north garage is used for parking by guests staying at Margaritaville Resort on Mulberry Street.

The board in December declared an emergency to fix lighting in the north parking garage after an electrical short knocked out its lighting system. The city is using a generator to power the lights and has a security guard patrolling the parking garage at night.

The board later approved a plan to install video cameras in both garages in response to complaints people were breaking into cars parked at the garages.