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Call remains for replacement parking ramp in St. Paul

Top level of crumbling facility is now open

June 29, 2018 - 5:42 am
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St. Paul motorists are welcoming the gradual reopening of the Rivercentre Parking Ramp, but officials say it's still just a temporary solution for the crumbling 48-year-old facility.

"We need a new parking ramp," said Terry Mattson, president and CEO of Visit St. Paul and the RiverCentre Authority.

The top level of the ramp reopened on Thursday, freeing up 200 parking spaces.

The legislature appropriated $5 million for the ramp's demolition after $58 million was requested to help pay for a replacement.

The city of St. Paul would be asked to match the larger sum toward construction of a new ramp next to the Xcel Energy Center and Rivercentre.

"Long-term, we appreciate the appropriation from the legislature," said Mattson. "That just kind of sits on the shelf until we figure out a path to move forward. Whatever it takes to get this work done."

A piece of the ramp concrete ceiling concrete measuring 3 feet by 2 feet fell and damaged a parked vehicle on May 16.

No one was hurt.

The ramp was taking in $15,000 a day in parking revenue. 

"It's not a quick fix, it's not an easy fix," Mattson said.

Visit St. Paul plans to reopen the parking structure gradually over coming weeks as repairs are made to non-structural concrete, with the goal of having every level open by Halloween.