Parking ramp access from riverfront area to be removed

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – By next spring, the only access to the Mill Street parking ramp will be from Mill Street.

The Public Works and Utilities Committee Tuesday recommended to the City Council that the ramp to the half-century old parking structure from the city parking lot behind Mill Street be removed.

The council is expected to act on that recommendation at their Nov. 29 meeting.

“We have been talking about whether we want to remove that,” City Administrator Brian Yerges told the committee members. He emphasized that only the incline up to the ramp would be removed, not the entire parking structure.

The Mullet River Corridor study completed last year recommended the move, which would free more space along the riverfront for park development and other amenities.

The city has begun work on some of the improvements recommended for that area and will continue that process next spring.

Public Works Director Bill Immich said he sought quotes on the demolition work from several contractors and the only response he received was from PRL Excavating. PRL said they would remove the ramp for $26,757.

He noted that is about what the corridor study had estimated for a cost.

“I would like to see us take the ramp out,” Mayor Donald Pohlman stated. “It’s a good thing for safety sake if nothing else. If we’re trying to develop a park (along the river), to have cars running through it like a thoroughfare (to the parking ramp) would not be a good thing.”

Immich noted that the current ramp entrance to the parking structure would have to be walled off after the incline is removed.

He also said the existing staircase from the upper level to the parking spaces below the ramp – which would remain – would have to be upgraded. Building another staircase might be an alternative, he noted, but would probably cost more.

The lighting underneath and on top the ramp was recently upgraded by the city to LED lighting.

“The lights are all working down there,” Immich said, noting that the space is now much brighter and safer.

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