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Structural assessments on the city’s downtown parking garages expected soon

Specialists for Stantec are in the process of preparing reports on the condition of Vicksburg’s two parking garages on Mulberry Street, said Brian Robbins with Stantec.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen on March 10 approved a $29,000 contract with Stantec to perform structural assessments on the garages, determine modifications to make them handicap-accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and determine the possible need for elevators.

The call for the reports came 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 location of the hole is near a crosswalk connecting the top of the parking garage and Washington Street businesses.

The workers called 911 to report the hole out of concern it was the start of a larger problem and possible collapse of some of the parking deck onto the levels below. The top two decks of the parking garage were closed to traffic and have remained closed since. The bottom two decks are still open.

“Both garages have problems,” city public works director Garnet Van Norman said, adding that the garages were built in the 1970s and have not had routine maintenance since.

Under the contract, Stantec was allowed to hire subcontractors to perform some of the services.

Robbins said the Texas company hired to assess the garages inspected and examined the north and south garages and was in the process of compiling the data from the site visits to prepare the reports and estimates for repairs.

He said precautions with the COVID-19 virus have delayed the assessments.

“It shut everybody down. They (the specialists) could not leave Texas; they weren’t able to come until last week,” Robbins said.

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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