It wont be done until the 2014 legislative session is over, but an $8.9 million new parking garage is expected to make a big impact on parking around the Idaho Capitol and state office buildings.
The first of five levels is under construction at the corner of 6th and Washington streets, and construction is expected to be done next Aug. 1, says Jennifer Pike, public information specialist for the Idaho Department of Administration.
The structure, which also will provide parking on its roof, will add 580 spaces of long-needed parking for Capitol Mall workers, and a surface lot will add 75 spaces for state employees.
CONFLICT WITH CITY RESOLVED
The project had a bumpy start early this year when the city of Boises design review committee and planning commission rejected the states plan, citing concerns that the design was not compatible with the adjacent neighborhood.
But the City Council ultimately OKd it, and construction began in June, says Pike, who works in the Len B. Jordan Building across the street.
NEED FOR PARKING
State officials have long wanted to provide additional parking in the area around the Capitol and state office buildings, Pike says.
A legislative resolution for the new garage notes that 2,300 state employees work in the Capitol Mall, and 1,600 of them bought parking permits for state lots. Last session, those lots offered only about 1,236 parking spaces.
The need for more parking is particularly acute during legislative sessions, when the Statehouse and nearby offices draw many more visitors.
The new garage will definitely be under construction during the 2014 session, but it will be completely up and running for the 2015 session, Pike says.
The new garage will have five covered levels on its west end, with a ramp up to the roof for a sixth level at the east end. Vehicles will be able to access the garage from 6th and 7th streets.
WHERE IS THE MONEY COMING FROM?
The project is funded through bonds sold by the Idaho State Building Authority. The first bond payment, about $640,000, will be due July 1, 2014 and will likely come out of the Permanent Building Fund, Pike says. Subsequent payments are expected to be covered by parking revenue.
Kristin Rodine: 377-6447