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Hole in parking South Cannon Garage closes 100 spots

Andrew Holleran / Photo editor

More than 100 parking spaces have been out of service in the South Cannon Garage since the appearance of a hole on the upper floors.
The top two floors of the garage, located near the Wexner Medical Center, are closed due to a hole caused by concrete spalls, or concrete breaking into smaller pieces in the roof, said Sarah Blouch, the director of CampusParc, a private company that took over operations of Ohio State’s parking operations in September.
“As soon as we discovered this, we shut down the parking and called in our engineers,” said Blouch in an email. “They have been out and are working with some companies to evaluate the best approach to fix the hole so we can use (those) levels again.”
Blouch said the affected floors were closed on Feb. 22 after the hole was discovered.
The garage is expected to be closed for a major restoration from July to April 2014, which is when the hole will be repaired if a safe and effective way to fix it is not identified before then. The two top floors will remain closed until the restoration project is underway if a way to repair it is not identified before July.
Part of the restoration will be repairing concrete spalls and applying a waterproofing membrane to keep salts and corrosives from deteriorating the concrete slabs, Blouch said.
The cost of fixing the hole and how exactly to go about doing that was still being assessed Tuesday, Blouch said.
While the hole is new, the deteriorating condition of the garage has been noticed before.
“The garage is 40 years old, which is not ancient in terms of garages, but it has seen lots of wear and tear,” Blouch said. “It had a major restoration in 2003, but as with all things, continued use contributes to continued deterioration.”
Administration and Planning spokeswoman Lindsay Komlanc said the last restoration of South Cannon Garage was operated by Paragon Constructors, Inc., and lasted from 2001 to 2003.
OSU employees are allowed to park on the ninth floor of the 12-level garage and above. With only the ninth and 10th levels available for employees to park, some have found the closure inconvenient.
“We used to have four floors and now we’ve got two, and they kept squeezing different faculty and staff’s parking spaces, here and there,” said Anthony Wang, a research operation manager at the Wexner Medical Center. “Every time they do that, people will just come and try and couldn’t find a spot.”
Wang said he has had to leave for work a half-hour earlier to secure a spot in the parking garage.
The ninth and 10th levels of the garage, where employees are allowed to park was pretty full with cars on Monday morning at about 9:30 a.m., while many vacant spots remained on the lower levels.
Jan Lockman, a research associate at OSU’s Comprehensive Cancer Center at 300 W. 10th Ave., had a difficult time finding a spot Monday at about 9 a.m.
“We used to be able to park in this garage, from seven and above,” Lockman said. “Almost anytime of the day you come, seventh and eighth is not full in this garage.”
Lockman said the closing of the visitor-only 12th Avenue Garage led the university to reduce the parking levels for employees in order to accommodate visitors. That garage reopened on Jan. 1.
“Now the (12th Avenue) Garage is open again, but we don’t see them letting us go back to seventh and eighth,” Lockman said.
In June, the OSU Board of Trustees finalized a deal to lease all parking operations and assets to QIC, Global Infrastructure, an Australia-based investment company, for $483 million. CampusParc handles the day-to-day tasks of the campus parking operations.

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