Click photo to enlarge
Jeff Oleson reinforces the ground before the final layer of concrete is poured at the top level of the McKay Street garage in Pittsfield.
Monday October 29, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- The $7.1 million renovation of the McKay Street park ing garage is approaching the halfway point and should wrap up on time early next summer, city officials have said.

Once Chapman Waterproofing of Boston, the contractor hired to do the job, refurbishes the top deck, the project will be about 55 percent complete, according to the Pittsfield Maintenance Department.

"We are on a push to get the top deck done before the snow flies," said interim maintenance director, Ed Kuni. "It’s the most involved part of the project."

Chapman had planned to finishing pouring new concrete for the upper most level on Saturday, but delayed the work in order to secure the construction site due to Hurricane Sandy on the horizon.

"We’ll resume pouring [concrete] on the first nice day, weather wise," said Frank Anello, the city’s parking superintendent. "And if we have a winter like last year, we’ll be able to pour all winter."

Despite the delay, Anello noted the renovation of the 24-year-old structure remains on schedule for completion by July 1. A combination of city funds and state grants is paying the $7.1 million cost.

The contractor’s to-do list includes removal and replacement of concrete on all levels -- on level at a time -- structural steel repair and painting, repair and enclosure of the stairwells and improvements to the electrical system.

The garage will also have new, brighter lights. City officials also vowed to have security cameras in stalled and a maintenance plan implemented to keep the facility safe and clean.

The city and its business community have said a revamped parking garage is another step in the decade-long revitalization of downtown Pittsfield.

The garage has 1,007 spaces, 929 for permitted parking, according to city officials. Prior to the renovation work that started in late May, 830 permits had been issued with an average of 604 spaces used on a daily basis during the work week.

Anello said about two-thirds of parking spaces are being made available during construction.

The 1,007- space garage, which opened in October 1988 at a cost of $8.3 million, has been repaired several times over the years.

City officials claim an overhaul of the entire facility is necessary if it is going to continue serving employees of downtown businesses and visitors who frequent the shops, restaurants and cultural venues in the city center.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6233.