Weather extends garage project

Middleford work to end in March; repairs hike cost to $1.74 million

Visitors to downtown Medford will have to contend with the sound of jackhammers and some dust for a while longer at the Middleford parking garage at the corner of Sixth Street and Riverside Avenue.

The city has extended the work time on the renovation project for an additional two months to finish painting and other work delayed because of the long cold snap.

"There has been an extension of the contract due to weather," said Chris Reising, director of the Medford Building Department.

Work, which began in September by Adroit Construction Co. of Ashland, was supposed to be completed on the parking garage on Dec. 31, but has been extended to March 1.

The $1.68 million project has grown to $1.74 million because of the discovery of unexpected cracking and other repairs.

Delivery of stainless steel screens that will be installed on the stairwells also have been delayed.

In addition, the city has decided to put off repairs to a ramp leading to the top floor after it was discovered that water had managed to come in contact with a long tensioning rod. On the underside of the ramp, cracks indicate where water has intruded.

The exact cost of this repair is unknown until workers are able to tear away some of the concrete to see the condition of the tension rods.

"This one could be relatively inexpensive or an expensive project," Reising said.

The hope is that only one of the tensioning rods has only been slightly affected by water damage, he said.

Reising said the city didn't want to close the top floor and second floor to make the repairs while school was in session. He said the garage isn't as heavily used in the summer months.

Engineers have determined that the cracked concrete doesn't pose any safety concerns, Reising said.

One of the most visible features of the garage upgrade has been the installation of a new passageway that will connect Bartlett Street on the north and south and provide a link between the downtown and the two new parks to the north at The Commons.

Additional work has included resurfacing the garage, painting, new lighting and a new coating on the roof top.

Horizontal metal grating on the sides of the building have been removed and will be replaced with material that has a rectangular mesh pattern.

New sidewalks and street lighting have been installed around the parking garage.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476, or email

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