Parking Structure 3 undergoes upgrades

The basement level of Parking Structure 3, located between 12th and 13th Avenues on Montgomery Street, is currently closed while Baugh Construction begins work on bringing the structure up to seismic code and adding two new stories. Upon completion, the two new parking levels will provide students with 348 new parking spaces.

The two new levels will be constructed out of steel, rather than cement like the original structure. Rick Hall, superintendent to the project for Baugh Construction said he prefers using steel over cement. “I like it because it’s faster to put up, which is important in a job like this where there are time constraints.” Constructing the two new levels out of steel also reduces the amount of weight added to the structure.

Burt Ewart, special projects architect for Portland State University, proposed the addition of two new levels to Parking Structure 3. “We’re always looking for new ways to provide additional parking. Adding new levels to an existing structure is more cost effective than building an all new structure,” Ewart said.

The overall project cost is approximately $6.6 billion. In addition to adding new parking spaces, the project will also update the building for lateral and seismic capacity, and add an elevator, which the structure is currently lacking. The elevator will have a glass back that will allow users to view the street as they ride it, and allow others to see in, which Ewart said was a positive security feature.

The first step to the nine month construction project begins with the seismic upgrades in the basement. Baugh Construction must remove a portion of the east and west basement wall, install cast piling on each side, install a new grade beam and a new shearwall on top of the grade beam. These upgrades, along with the widening of the support beams will bring the parking structure up to current seismic codes.

Within three to four weeks, work on the basement will be completed and the basement parking level will be reopened. Work will then be moved to the first floor and then the second in 2-3 week increments. Until summer term no more than one floor will be closed at any one time.

From June 17 through Sept. 30, all levels of Parking Structure 3 will be closed. By contract Baugh Construction must finish their work on the basement level through three and be ready to open those four levels for parking by Sept. 30. “Baugh and PSU staff are working together to have the entire project completed by September 30,” said Rick Hall of Baugh Construction.