Manatee County Parking Garage Replacement Planned
(June 14, 2022) – After recent engineering investigations revealed structural concerns in the County Parking Structure, Manatee County officials are taking action to mitigate risk while continuing to keep employees and citizens safe.
“The garage is safe to park in,” said County Administrator Scott Hopes. “The engineering studies have confirmed that.”
But those studies also confirmed that the concrete and steel parking garage—built in the late 1980s in a very moist, humid environment—has begun to weaken from the inside out.
“There had perhaps been a period of deferred maintenance,” he explained. This resulted in water intrusion into the concrete causing the steel to begin to deteriorate. Dr. Hopes went on to say that the issue now is the estimated costs to perform several repairs recommended by the engineering study and how long those repairs will last over the now-limited lifetime of the structure.
“It would only buy us five to seven years of usable life,” he said, so the decision to replace the garage with a new one—designed to last 50 years or more—was made.
“It’ll be safe today,” said County Commission Chair Kevin Van Ostenbridge. “It’ll be safe tomorrow.”
But he says that by taking decisive actions and acting quickly to put contingencies in place—all sorts of potential disasters are avoided.
“We are allocating funds in advance so that even if the situation changes and we have to act quickly, we will have the funds to do it,” he said
While there is no timeline for demolition or construction, plans and schedules are being formulated, and those details will be shared with employees and other stakeholders as the garage replacement process progresses.
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