“It’s a bad situation:” Downtown parking structure closed, workers scramble for spots

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- In downtown Milwaukee, parking is already at a premium. So the loss of about a thousand spaces is not exactly welcome news. But that's exactly what happened Tuesday morning, September 23rd. People who park at the U.S. Bank building's parking structure found the place closed.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Irgens Development, the company building an office tower next to the parking structure said:

"As part of any building project, including the 833 East site, there is ongoing, close monitoring for any effect excavation or construction may have on adjacent structures. The U.S. Bank parking structure's closure is part of that monitoring process. The closure stems from a slight movement in the north wall of the parking structure adjacent to the building site that was detected last week. The wall and surrounding area have been reinforced at the specifications of inspecting engineers, who deemed the structure safe for use. A contractor involved in the original construction of the parking structure has requested additional inspection, leading to today's closure. It is hoped the inspection can be completed by the end of the week."

U.S. Bank issued this statement:

"The engineering firm that designed the U.S. Bank Center parking structure has suggested a series of inspections to the parking structure due to potential effects from the significant construction next to the facility.

In the interest of the safety of our employees, customers and guests who use our parking facility, we have temporarily closed it and are offering free parking alternatives to contract parking customers in nearby locations, with shuttle service as needed while these inspections are conducted.

We are working closely with the developer and contractor of the adjacent building and engineers to assure the soundness of our parking structure to allow it to re-open as soon as possible.

We apologize for any inconvenience that this has caused to those who use the U.S. Bank Center parking facility."

The city of Milwaukee's Department of Neighborhood Services has issued this statement:

“During excavation work for the new 833 E. Michigan building there was movement of the foundation wall of the adjoining U.S. Bank parking structure. DNS was made aware of the situation Thursday 9/18/14 and wrote orders for an engineering analysis and solution to restore the integrity of the wall in question. U.S. bank has made the decision on its own to close the parking structure at 716 E. Clyburn until the engineering is done to stabilize it and satisfy the safety concerns between the contractor, DNS, the engineers and the property owners. Work on 833 is also being halted until the engineering solution is determined. DNS continues to monitor the progress while stabilization work continues.”

Mandy James is among those who are utilizing a shuttle service which is transporting people to and from parking lots at Maier Festival Park several blocks away.

"They gave us a list of lots to call. But a lot of 'em have wait lists and it's, it's a bad situation. It says that houses a thousand people in that lot. So you can't just find spots for a thousand people that easily," said James.

James explains she's been told a refund will be issued for October's parking fees, but not the rest of September. But those displaced agree, the cost and inconvenience are small prices to pay to stay safe.