Bismarck’s Galleria Parking Ramp is in need of an estimated $1.3 million in repairs.
The ramp, which was built in the early 1980s adjacent to what is now the Radisson Hotel, is structurally sound, but there is deterioration to some of the post-tensioned slab tendons.
“If water gets into those steel tendons within the concrete, they rust and they can deteriorate to the point where they break. And when they break, and if enough of them break, you can have a serious problem,” said Bismarck Municipal Parking Authority Chairman Jim Christianson.
CWSTRUCTURAL Engineers inspects Bismarck’s parking ramps each year, conducting nondestructive tests to look for cracks and water intrusions.
The local firm recommended bringing in a specialist, Walker Restoration Consultants, in the spring of 2014 to complete a structural evaluation, which identified the deterioration.
At the time, repairs to the tendons were estimated at $1.3 million.
The parking authority went with a temporary fix, instead, and shored up the areas that had noticeable deterioration in the late summer of 2014.
“There was no danger of collapse, but it was recommended to put the shoring in place,” said Christianson, noting they sacrificed 40 parking spots with the quick fix. “We own the shoring, it’s in place and the ramp has continued to function ever since that time.”
A structural engineer inspected the ramp in November and advised Christianson the situation is not getting any better.
“We’ve kind of kicked the can down the road as long as we can,” Christianson said during a report to the Bismarck City Commission Tuesday night.
The parking authority plans to put the project to bid as early as April.
“This is throwing good money after bad. It was never the best-designed ramp. There’s a lot of right-angle turns. It’s kind of small and larger vehicles don’t work very well in there,” Christianson said. “But it’s there, it functions and it’s very important to the operation of the hotel.”
The project, as it stands, would be to repair the existing ramp, but construction of a new ramp isn’t out of the question.
Christianson requested the city’s permission to work on a request for proposal to stimulate the purchase of the city’s vacant lot on Main Avenue that is used for Galleria Parking Ramp overflow.
If a developer were to purchase the overflow lot to build apartments, they may be interested in contributing funds to a new ramp, he said.
The commission authorized the parking authority to issue the RFP.