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Engineers: Parking garages in good shape, but need work

Vicksburg’s two parking garages on Mulberry Street are in good shape but need maintenance and repair work, according to a report prepared by Stantec’s structural engineers.

The report was written after the engineers from Stantec’s Plano, Texas, office inspected the garages at the request of city officials, after city workers on Feb. 16 discovered a hole near a seam in the concrete in the middle of the driving lane just at the entrance to the fourth level of the north parking garage.

The hole was near a crosswalk connecting the top of the parking garage and Washington Street businesses.

The report recommended 11 areas that need work on the garages and recommended developing a maintenance schedule to prevent future problems to the decks, which were built in the 1970s but never maintained.

Public Works Director Garnet Van Norman said the holes in the decking at two different places on the north garage have been covered by steel plates.

“We have some of the critical (items) addressed,” Van Norman said.

Van Norman said he has some contractors looking at the garages and was waiting to hear from them.

“We need to see what kind of money we might be looking at to do it and we’ve got to find somebody to do it. We’re taking it one step at a time,” he said.

North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield said it was important to do the repairs right.

“If these garages are going to be open to the public, we have to do everything possible from our end to make sure that we are not caught by surprise with something that may have been missed,” Mayfield said.

“That, in my opinion, is the right thing to do,” he added. “Go in, spend the money, get a report from people who are in the know and then rely on their report from there. To my knowledge, we don’t seem to be in trouble at this present time.”

Mayfield said city officials are also working on two other issues not related to the parking garage repairs — video cameras and improved lighting.

“We have the cameras and they are in the process of being installed,” Mayfield said. “We want to make sure the cameras we have are monitored and we’re making sure there are no blind spots. We’ve done extensive work on the lighting. We’re pretty much on track where we need to be (with the garages) but we need to make sure we cover all the bases.”






About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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