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  • By Lisa Brody

Fixes at all five Birmingham parking structures

Birmingham is utilizing the quieter time with more people working from home and many stores having been closed to perform critical repairs and rehabilitation at all five of its parking structures, with city commissioners authorizing them at their meeting on Monday, May 18, conducted on Zoom. Assistant city manager Tiffany Gunter said the advisory parking committee had met and discussed how “we have a 'gift' of low occupancy, and looked at what other work we could do. What is 'low hanging fruit' and most meaningful work for repairs at all five structures.” She said none of the recommendations are in conflict with the current structure assessment being done, and due in June, for all of the structures. “These projects are meant to address loose concrete, problems in stair towers, repairing drain and plumbing issues at Pierce (structure), lighting work in the stair towers at Chester, Old Woodward, Peabody, cast panels, trip hazards, other corrosion,” she said. At the Pierce Street garage, the estimated cost for repairs is $101,265; at Park Street, $115,515; Chester, $52,110; Peabody, $99,950; and at N. Old Woodward, already under construction for numerous emergency repairs, another $138,140, for a total estimated cost of $506,980, plus a 10 percent oversight cost to the contractor. The repairs are estimated to be completed within two months and many will not interfere with parking spaces, Gunter said. “The most money is going to N. Old Woodward, which is in the worst shape. We're already closing in on $900,000,” before this new expenditure, said commissioner Mark Nickita. “I know of a number of other issues not being addressed in this packet.” A number of years ago, city engineers had determined the structure had exceeded its lifespan, and should be replaced. A bond proposal for the city to secure financing for the replacement of the North Old Woodward parking structure was defeated last August. “I would rather have architects and engineers involved on lighting,” for the N. Old Woodward structure, said commissioner Clinton Baller. It was explained that to have an architect design lighting would necessitate delays as designs would have to go through the city's process of returning to boards, including the city commission, for approvals. The contractor, DRV, said they would be installing the same lighting as it had previously installed at the Park Street structure. “It's the perfect time to move fast,” mayor Pierre Boutros said. Commissioners approved the resolution, 5-1, with Baller voting no. The Zoom connection with commissioner Brad Host was temporarily disconnected.

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