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Plans to move forward to demolish Civic Center parking lot

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) – Work to demolish the Civic Center parking garage in Springfield could begin as early as this spring and we’ve learned that a designer has been hired to begin mapping the project.

Springfield’s downtown garage has seen better days. Built in 1971, garage officials said it had reached the end of its useful life and it would be a better investment to build a new garage than to do more repairs. They said the 50-year-old garage would need things like drainage upgrades and waterproofing.

“I love my city, let’s make it better, let’s continue,” said Julio Rivera.

The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, which also owns the MassMutual Center, purchased the garage in 2020. MCCA’s Tara Coughlan told Western Mass News that they had just hired a designer to work on the construction of the new garage.

“They are doing exploratory work, assessing what is under the structure, examining the drop zone for construction activities. We are having many discussions with the city about potential street closures and impacts on our neighbors to make sure everything goes well when we go into full construction,” Coughlan

It is not yet known when these street closures will take place, but they hope that ultimately the garage will be more modern.

“Wider lanes, slightly larger pitches to accommodate the larger vehicles we all drive today. Other typical equipment that you would see in a garage like electric vehicle charging stations, electric gates when you go out like automated systems and looking at other opportunities like an air tire filling station, that kind of thing…just to improve the customer experience,” Coughlan added.

The project is estimated between 30 and 40 million dollars. They hope to have it finished by fall 2023.

Officials said they hoped to include a new skybridge to connect the new garage to the MassMutual center and improve the overall experience of passing from the garage to the MassMutual center.

Deena S. Hawkins

The author Deena S. Hawkins