Parking garage

Parking garage next to Bridgeport Arena in need of repairs

But a damaged and closed stairwell in a state-owned parking garage on South Frontage Road, used by patrons of the amphitheater, entertainment arena and other visitors, makes a bad impression.

Built in 2000 by the city, the state took over ownership of the structure in question – known as the Bridgeport Transportation Center garage and located next to the Total Mortgage Arena – in 2012.

In January, city officials notified the state Department of Transportation that some of the concrete on the West Staircase was crumbling, prompting the closure that lasted a few months.

Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater officials said they also contacted DOT about complaints shared earlier this month on a fan-created Facebook page.

Some ticket holders complained online about the situation on the Friends of the Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater Facebook page, posting a photo of the closed stairwell doors, blocked with orange netting and a sign to use the lifts.

Complaints ranged from long elevator lines to questions about security.

“And if there is a fire?” one person wrote.

A few people said they saw frustrated members of the public remove the netting and risk using the stairs. Others worried about the general condition of the garage and how long it took to fix the problem.

The DOT, in a statement emailed to Hearst Connecticut Media on Monday, said that “upon being alerted to concerns regarding the West Staircase by the city,” the agency “took immediate action,” inspecting the site and closing it “indefinitely in the interest of public safety.”

“Due to the structural issues, CT DOT will be performing a complete replacement of the West Staircase,” the statement continued. “The design will start soon. The overall parking lot structure and inspection of the east stairway revealed no other structural issues. »

Additionally, the DOT pointed out in the email, elevators on the west and east sides and an open staircase on the east allow “multiple points of entry and exit.”

Amphitheater officials, in a statement to Hearst Connecticut Media, urged state officials to act more quickly.

“This is one of the first impressions you get of the amphitheater and we, unfortunately, have no control over it,” read the venue’s statement. “We appreciate that they are working to get it done, but time is running out.”

Deena S. Hawkins

The author Deena S. Hawkins