Capitol parking ramp at risk of ‘catastrophic failure,’ state says

Published 10:15 am Friday, January 22, 2016

By Maya Rao

Minneapolis Star Tribune

ST. PAUL — State leaders want the Legislature to approve $10.9 million in repairs to a busy parking ramp at the Minnesota Capitol after discovering deteriorated cables supporting the deck.

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Hundreds of spaces have closed at the Centennial Parking Ramp over the past four months, worsening the statehouse parking crunch as workers raced to shore up concrete support beams and fix and replace cables between the basement and first floors.

The Minnesota Department of Administration sought the funds in a preliminary capital budget request that Gov. Mark Dayton submitted to the Legislature last week.

“The governor recognizes, much like the aging infrastructure in water resources across the state, that there’s a really important responsibility to maintain the state’s assets,” Commissioner Matt Massman said. “I think it’s a very important need.”

The request said that failing to make the repairs would render the 1,489-stall ramp “unsafe over time and could result in catastrophic failure.”

Department officials clarified Thursday that the warning referred to the consequences if engineers didn’t immediately shore up the first floor after finding problems there last September.