The first phase of repairs to the downtown Lafayette Buchanan Street parking lot is expected to be completed in January.
The six-story structure built in 1981 was abruptly closed in October 2018 after it was deemed unsafe, exacerbating parking problems for patrons of the nearby Lafayette Parish Courthouse as there is plenty of street parking. near the courthouse were then reserved for courthouse employees who used the garage.
It is not known when the parking garage will reopen.
Buchanan Street parking garage repairs begin Tuesday
The plans for Phase 2 are expected to be delivered in January, unless unforeseen circumstances arise, according to city engineer Fred Trahan.
Phase 1 involves structural repairs to the parking garage, as well as sanding and painting the exterior of the structure and installing an impact resistant cable system.
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Corrosion damaged more than half of the steel beams and columns that support the floors of the 344-vehicle parking garage.
Mayor-President Josh Guillory signed an emergency declaration in March 2020 after an engineer report revealed advanced to severe corrosion in the latches that connect some of the 200 panels to the garage itself. The panels were removed to lighten the load on the structure.
Phase 1 is expected to cost just over $ 1.6 million.
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Phase 2, Trahan said in an email response to the questions, is expected to include repairs or replacement of elevators, as well as repairs to stairwells and the electrical system, at an estimated cost of $ 1.6 million. of dollars. The second phase can also include interior painting for an estimated cost of $ 500,000 to $ 800.00.
If interior painting is not allowed, he said, the final design of the elevator and stairwell work could allow part of the parking garage to be used during construction. This decision will be made once the final elevator and stairwell designs are completed.
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The parking lot was closed in 2018 shortly after the parish’s former city council rejected a proposal from then-mayor Joel Robideaux that the city buy the structure from the parish. Some council members saw this decision as a way to help the budget of the struggling parish.
Robideaux then issued a request for proposals to redevelop the parking garage and other nearby properties – some not owned by LCG – into a mixed-use development with residences and businesses. It received four proposals in 2019, but took no action after determining that none of the proposals were financially viable.