ROCKFORD- The Water Street parking deck, home to Rockford’s City Market, is a familiar spot for many drivers.
Chocolatier Daniel Nelson says most of his customers use the deck right across the street from his gourmet shop. He mentions the deck has fallen into disrepair.
"Something has to be done,” explained Nelson.
Nelson is right. In 2010 the city used an outside firm to analyze the deck for people and cars.
"The structure needs some upgrading. There’s cracks in the concrete, the joints are failing," said Rockford City Engineer Matthew Vitner.
There are two options on the table. Repair the damage which will cost around $700,000, or demolish it and create a surface lot for around $500,000.
"I think pouring the least amount of money into it is the best approach. So I think just leveling it and making a nice basic parking lot is the way to go," said Nelson.
Right now there are 96 parking spots available. With a surface lot drivers can expect 50 to 60 parking spots.
"The city is exploring other options, in looking at the surrounding area, to take advantage of making up capacity for tenants and buildings owners,” said Vitner.
But there's no money to build a new parking deck or to repair the old one. City Engineers are proposing putting funds aside for the demolition as part of the River's Edge Grant.
"This item that's going to council in no way reflects what the ultimate project will be,” said Vitner.
And don't expect any changes to happen overnight. Council will have to vote every step of the way.
Aldermen will vote this Wednesday on setting part of the River’s Edge Grant aside for the project.
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