The parking garage sandwiched between Brewster and School streets, adjacent to the AMC movie theater in downtown Glen Cove, looks no different than any other parking garage from the outside. The side facing Brewster Street traffic is clean, and advertises the free parking it offers local businesses. Pedestrians on School Street can see ivy growing up the side of the garage from lush bushes below, as if the structure perfectly coexists with nature.
Inside, however, the conditions are drastically different. Cracks mar the ceilings on every level, and there are so many potholes that it is difficult for a driver trying to find a parking spot to avoid them.
The City Council announced at its April 23 meeting that VRAM Inc., a concrete repair company based in Clifton, N.J., will be hired to fix the broken concrete in the structure. According to Nicolas Shearman, grant administrator for the Glen Cove Community Development Agency, the city invited bids for the project on Jan. 25. Mayor Tim Tenke said at the meeting that the budget for the overall cost of the project was originally set at $150,000, thanks to a grant of that amount issued by the CDA. In the days after the meeting, Tenke said that VRAM initially asked for roughly $176,000 to do the job, but city officials were able to keep the cost at $150,000 through negotiations with the company.
The city also brought in the LiRo Group — an engineering firm based in Mineola — to determine what work needs to be done. “The top priority areas are concrete ceilings and floor slabs that have been badly deteriorated,” Tenke said.
The garage was built in the 1970s, and has never undergone any major repairs. The aged concrete is now flaking off and breaking up, a process called spalling.
According to Tenke, VRAM will undertake a combination of partial and full slab repairs. Partial slab repairs involve the removal of loose material down to hard concrete, and refilling it with new concrete. Full slab repairs are done when a section of concrete is cracked all the way through. Sections of the ceilings will be coated with sealant, and new striping will be added where needed.
According to Grant Newburger, the city’s public relations officer, the garage has needed repairs for a long time. Newburger, who worked for four years in State Assemblyman Charles Lavine’s Glen Cove office, which is attached to the garage, said that he often hesitated to park in the lot because of its condition.
“It’s visibly dangerous,” Newburger said. “The concrete is cracking, and in certain places you can see pieces of concrete falling on cars. I’m really excited to see a lot of these necessary repairs being done.”
Tenke said that the project should take roughly 90 days, although a start date can’t be determined until after a pre-construction meeting between city officials and VRAM on May 14. “Now that it’s been approved, it can be at any time,” Tenke said.
According to Lou Saulino, the city’s director of public works, this is the first stage of a multi-phase process to completely overhaul the garage. The work that needs to be done first, he said, will focus on the most important parts of the structure, which will be determined when city officials and VRAM executives tour each level.
“We’ll be a lot smarter after that kickoff meeting,” Saulino said.
According to Saulino, the city will send out a request for proposals for a $500,000 overhaul by the end of May. The city will initially seek advisers for the project before hiring a contractor to do the construction.