Parking Ramp Work Awarded

August 20, 2007
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GRAND RAPIDS — City commissioners gave their blessing last week to nearly $1 million worth of improvements to the city-owned downtown parking ramps.

Commissioners awarded D.C. Byers Co. of Grand Rapids the contract to make upgrades and repairs to seven ramps and Calder Plaza, which sits above the underground Government Center ramp. The other ramps awaiting work are Ionia Pearl, Ottawa Fulton, Louis Campau, Monroe Center, DeVos Place and the Grand Rapids Police Department ramp.

“We have a regular maintenance program,” said Deputy City Manager Eric DeLong. “This is preventative maintenance.”

The construction portion of the contract totals $873,431. The work includes making repairs to floors and ceilings, and sealing joints to keep water from seeping into the concrete.

Mitch Schutter of Parking Services said his department does vigorous upgrades to the ramps every five years.

“There are a lot of different items on the list,” said Schutter.

Testing, administration and contingencies could raise the project’s total cost to $1.08 million. Funds from the Parking Services and Facilities Management departments will pay for the work. Walker Parking Consultants & Engineering of Kalamazoo is providing the engineering services.

D.C. Byers Co. outbid four other firms for the contract. The city didn’t incorporate its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise discounts in the bidding process because the city has suspended its Equal Business Opportunity construction program due to the passage of Proposal 2 in 2004, which removed racial and gender considerations from public contracts. The city is currently reviewing its EBO program.

The city owns or operates 21 public lots and ramps in the downtown district. Those facilities have 6,999 parking spaces. A new city-owned ramp at Cherry Street and Commerce Avenue is set to open late next month and will offer 310 spaces.

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