Monday February 4, 2013

PITTSFIELD -- Starting tonight, the city’s McKay Street parking garage will have limited use due to the structure’s ongoing $7.1 million renovation.

Until further notice, the fourth level is off limits as the demolition begins of the upper floor, which is being rebuilt as part of an overhaul of the nearly 25-year-old downtown facility. The work will be performed from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., according to city officials.

In addition, parking is prohibited after 6 p.m. on the third floor of the five-floor garage during the demolition. Motorists will have full access to the rest of the parking garage and adjacent parking lot. Signs and cones will be in place to safely guide drivers to areas of the garage where parking will be allowed during construction.

City officials say the night work is an effort to minimize disturbance, inconvenience and improve safety for those who park and work in the vicinity of the garage.

The project remains on scheduled to be completed by July 1. A combination of city funds and state grants is paying the $7.1 million cost.

Chapman Waterproofing, the Boston contractor hired last spring to do the job, has completed refurbishing the top deck, accounting for nearly 55 percent of the project, city officials have said.

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

The garage also will have new, brighter lights, along with security cameras installed to enhance its safety.

The 1,007-space parking facility, 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 garage 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.

The majority of the parking, 929 spaces, are by permit only, with the city making an effort to have about two-thirds of the 1,007 spaces available at any one time during construction.

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