City announces major upgrade of downtown parking garage

Elm Street Garage to see new security, lighting, structural performance and cosmetic improvements

New Bedford, Massachusetts– The City of New Bedford will make significant upgrades to the Elm Street Garage during a renovation project that is part of ongoing improvements to downtown parking.

Security, lighting, improvements to structural performance, and cosmetic changes to the lobby, stairs and elevator areas are all part of the renovation of the garage.

In Fiscal Year 2015, the City established the Downtown Parking Enterprise Fund to finance improvements and renovations to transportation facilities downtown. Aging parking meters were replaced in 2014, and the city began its planning for renovation of the Elm Street Garage, with preliminary engineering completed in 2015.

In addition to financing through the Downtown Parking Enterprise Fund, the City obtained a $511,254 award from the National Park Service’s Federal Land Access Program (FLAP) that will go toward the project. In January 2017, the City Council unanimously approved a bond for $5,039,280 to finance the project, which will be implemented in two phases.

The first phase of the project will begin this month and will address structural stabilization, enhancements to the appearance and curb appeal of the garage’s façade, redesign and installation of new lighting and security for interior spaces throughout the garage, and a redesigned entrance lobby. The stairways will be renovated, and convenient auto-pay units for self-service will be installed in the Elm Street Garage as well as the Zeiterion Garage on Purchase Street. The projected cost of Phase 1 is $3,179,088.

Phase 2 will address resurfacing the concrete parking deck, replacement of parking stops and a fire protection system, with a projected cost of $1,860,192.

The full project, with a projected cost of $5,039,280, will be financed through a combination of City bonds that may be supplemented by the $511,254 FLAP grant. The Downtown Parking Enterprise Fund will fully support the debt service on the project.

“As New Bedford sees an increasing number of businesses and restaurants opening and drawing more visitors downtown, the need for improved parking options downtown has also grown,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “These important upgrades to the Elm Street Garage will vastly improve its security, image and ease of use. This space will provide another accessible option for patrons of downtown businesses.”

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