No parking at RiverCentre ramp following partial ceiling collapse

No one was hurt; inspection and repairs are underway

Al Schoch
May 18, 2018 - 5:37 am
Parking Ramp
Categories: 

Think the parking situation in downtown St. Paul is tight?

Get a load of what's facing motorists now:

The RiverCentre Ramp across Kellogg Street from the facility is closed indefinitely by order of Mayor Melvin Carter.  The reason? A large chunk of concrete fell from the ceiling of the garage onto a parked car on May 16. 

With the closure for repairs and inspection, that's at least 600 people with contracts to park at the 48-year-old ramp who'll be looking for a space every working day until it reopens.

“Effective immediately, I have instructed (Department of Safety and Inspection) Director (Ricardo) Cervantes to close the RiverCentre Ramp until a more comprehensive assessment can be completed,” said Mayor Carter in a statement. “This incident underscores the critical condition the ramp is in, and the urgency with which we need to build a new ramp to serve the 2.1 million visitors it serves each year.”

The ramp has a total of 1600 spaces, and is connected by a bridge to RiverCentre and the Xcel Energy Center. It's also right next to the Minnesota Science Museum. 

The ramp generates nearly $5 million in annual gross sales revenue for St. Paul, and is the most-used in the city.

Contract parkers are being asked to use the Kellogg, Smith, 7 Corners, and HRA Lawson ramps. City leaders say there are enough spaces to accommodate everyone.

No one was hurt when three-feet by two-feet chunk of the ceiling came down, damaging the parked car. The past 15 years has seen more than $18 million in repairs and maintenance done on the ramp.

Carter is asking lawmakers to contribute $58 million in state bonding money to replace the RiverCentre ramp. That would cover half the estimated cost for the project, with St. Paul matching the state's contribution.

The public request for the funds by Carter, along with city, labor, community, and business leaders, came two days before the concrete fell on the car at the ramp.