Parking garage fixes may cost $400,000 more

$1.7 million has been spent so far

Repairs to a downtown parking garage could cost more than $400,000 beyond the $1.7 million already spent to pay for deferred maintenance and upgrades on the three-story structure.

The Middleford Parking Garage at the corner of Sixth Street and Riverside Avenue has been remodeled over the past six months.

During repairs for maintenance issues, workers discovered possible problems with water intrusion on tensioning cables that help support a ramp leading to the top floor.

At least one of the cables appears to have some water intrusion, which could compromise its integrity.

Chris Reising, Medford Public Works director, said an estimate of the cost to conduct an initial investigation of the cables would be $146,000 based on the assumption that most of them would be in good shape.

If all 32 cables require repairs, the cost could run as high as $420,000, he said.

"Our biggest concern is moisture intrusion," Reising said. "The only way to tell is to dig in there and find out."

If rusty water trickles out once the workers have dug out the concrete, they will know there's a good chance the cables have been exposed to moisture, he said.

Workers previously found the plastic sheathing around one of the cables had been cracked, allowing moisture inside, Reising said.

The Medford Urban Renewal Agency Board and the City Council will get a briefing on the repairs at a 6 p.m. meeting today.

Reising said the city could opt to hold off on the repairs until a later date because engineers don't think problems with the cables have compromised the structural integrity of the ramp leading to the top floor.

The city would undertake repairs to the ramp during the summer months when Rogue Community College isn't in session. The work would require that 150 parking spaces be fenced off.

The garage has been painted and sealed over the past year. A walkway has been constructed on the bottom floor to allow pedestrians easy access from the north and south sides of Bartlett Street. The walkway is part of The Commons project, which includes the Lithia Motors headquarters and two downtown parks.

The stairwells have been opened up and stainless steel screens have been installed to improve visibility and safety.

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

New lighting and a new coating on the roof also have been installed.

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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