Popular parking ramp to close due to safety concerns - WNEM TV 5

Popular parking ramp to close due to safety concerns

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Finding a place to park in downtown Flint is going to get a whole lot tougher.

The McCree Parking Ramp, off of Beach Street, is soon to resemble a ghost town thanks to serious safety concerns.

"I could see people struggling to find parking when it closes," said John Brady, works in downtown Flint.

Genesee County commissioners made the decision to close the four level ramp after receiving a 41 page report on the ramp's condition.

The ramp is exposed, rusted and in some cases broken support beams have raised serious questions about the integrity of the structure. Their conclusion was the parking ramp is "near the end of its useful life."

Commissioners voted to shut it down for the foreseeable future on Friday, which will be a problem for the hundreds of vehicles that use the ramp daily.

"We're scrambling trying to make sure we are going to have adequate parking for the employees, the public that utilizes the health department or 67th district court down there. Plus the court jurors, things like that," said Mark Young, chairperson for the Genesee County Board of Commissioners.

In 2010 the county received a report that said it would cost $12 million to repair the ramp. The county did not have the money. Seven years later, demolishing the structure and replacing it would cost $16 million.

The county is looking into private-public partnerships to help fund it.

"If we could come up with a partnership possible, that could work both for downtown merchants and us. Where they could use it on the weekends and after hours for activities, it might work well for both of us," said Ten Henry, commissioner.

That possibility is still in its infancy.

A possible solution does not address the issues for people who work downtown come next week.

"With all of these parking spaces filling up during the middle of the day, I don't know where the rest of these people are going to go," Brady said.

The commissioners said they are working to address the short term parking concerns, while determining what the long term solution will be.

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