Contract for county parking ramp improvements

Improvements will be made to the Anoka County parking ramp located next to the Anoka County Government Center in downtown Anoka.

The Anoka County Board Aug. 28 approved a contract with Versacon Inc., Brooklyn Park, in the amount not to exceed $284,446.

Work will start Sept. 10 and should be completed Oct. 15 or by the end of October at the latest, according to Andrew Dykstra, county director of facilities management and construction.

The improvements include moving the public parking from the top floor, which is exposed to the elements, to the first floor, Dykstra said.

“We have had complaints from members of the public, especially in the winter, about parking on the fifth level where there is no cover,” he said.

Through the improvement project, there will be 100 parking spaces striped for the public on the first floor, Dykstra said.

There will also be the added convenience of being able to walk straight into the government center to where they need to go instead of having to use the elevator from the fifth level of the parking ramp, he said.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Dykstra said.

Besides moving public parking to the first floor, the improvement project has four other goals, according to Dykstra.

• Re-stripe the ramp to improve traffic flow and provide improved size of parking stalls.

• Provide new signage identifying the parking stalls and directing both drivers and pedestrians.

• Relocate and replace revenue control equipment (booths, gates, pay station).

• Improve the existing security system with more cameras and new call stations.

The parking ramp currently has 1,041 parking spaces, but the project will reduce that number to 1,001 because compact car parking spaces will be eliminated with the parking spots striped eight-feet wide to handle full-size vehicles, according Dykstra.

The county board action Aug. 28 approved both the base bid and four alternates.

The base bid included moving public parking to the first floor, public parking signage, auto teller, signage throughout the ramp, new striping throughout the ramp and curb work.

The four alternates added to the base bid for the final contract were:

• Sidewalk, sod and curb cut work at abandoned Fourth Street entry/exit.

• Pedestrian entry at west sidewalk to government center.

• Painting of south elevator holstway/lobby exterior wall with accent colors at all levels.

• Replace existing parking booth with a new accessible booth.

In addition to the contract awarded to Versacon, the county board approved using the state contract in an amount not to exceed $50,000 for implementation of indoor/outdoor cameras with DVR (digital video recorder) system for the camera/panic button portion of the security enhancements for the parking ramp upgrades.

The cost of the Versacon and state contracts will be paid for from the county building fund budget.

The work will be done with as little inconvenience to parking ramp users as possible, according to Dykstra said.

“We plan to do the parking ramp striping on weekends,” Dykstra said.

County Commissioner Matt Look, chairman of the board’s Finance and Capital Improvements Committee, which recommended approval of the contract, called it a “significant project.”

It will increase the efficiency of and streamline parking in the ramp in a cost effective way, according to Look.

The parking ramp opened in 1980 and an addition as built in the 1990s, Dykstra said.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]