Demolition of city parking deck could start in about 10 days

·3 min read

Jul. 21—Demolition of the city of Dalton-owned parking deck next to the Burr Performing Arts Park could start by Aug. 1, with the setup and site preparation already underway.

The City Council voted 3-0 Monday to accept a $386,080 contract with D.H. Griffin Wrecking of Ellenwood to tear down the deck. The company was the lowest of three bidders. Mayor David Pennington was absent, and council member Annalee Sams presided over the meeting as mayor pro tem and did not vote.

City Attorney Terry Miller said because the parking deck has been deemed a threat to life and safety the city did not have to go through its regular 30-day bid process.

The city closed the parking deck at the intersection of Crawford and Hamilton streets more than a month ago after a Public Works employee who was part of a crew doing routine maintenance on the deck noticed problems with one of the beams. The parking lot beneath the deck is also closed.

A report by Wallace Design Collective, an Atlanta engineering firm, presented to the city Finance Committee which is comprised of the City Council members on Thursday detailed numerous issues with the deck including shearing cracks on one of the beams, spalling of the concrete and water damage to connecting cables.

The report said there was evidence that loads exceeding capacity had been placed on the deck.

"Before we did repairs to the deck 10 years ago, there were no signs alerting drivers to height restrictions and weight restrictions (for vehicles)," City Administrator Andrew Parker told the council members. "I have heard anecdotally that before that when groups were in town for tournaments and things like that they parked their buses on the deck. That went on for 25 years or so."

Parker said the staff recommendation was to tear down the deck rather than rebuild.

"The deck was built in the early 1980s to the standards that were in place then," he said. "But I've had an engineer tell me that the day that deck was completed it would not meet today's safety standards."

"This will give us the opportunity to build a better, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)-compliant deck," Parker said. "That upper level (above the parking lot) is rarely used because it is difficult even for an able-bodied person to use those stairs."

He said some of the spaces could be reserved for tenants of the Landmark building, which is adjacent to the parking deck.

Parker said it would cost an estimated $1.3 million to build a single-level deck, which is what is currently on the site, and $2.1 million to build a double-level deck, though he cautioned those estimates were tentative because of inflation.

City Council members agreed they want to build a new deck but said they would have to identify a source of funding.

The council members also voted 3-0 to:

—Accept a $23,820 agreement with Findlay Roofing of Marietta for a new roof for Fire Station 4 at 1800 Dug Gap Road.

—Accept a $15,000 agreement with CSX Transportation for engineering for a proposed extension of sidewalk on North Thornton Avenue from Tyler Street north to the Salvation Army headquarters, just about half a mile from Hamilton Medical Center. The sidewalk would encroach on railroad right-of-way, and CSX must approve the project.

—Approve a $14,524 contract with the Dalton Convention Center to host Municipal Court through the end of the year. Court proceedings moved to the convention center on Monday. Court had been held at City Hall. Officials cited greater parking at the convention center as one reason for the move.