HOUGHTON - There have been no big surprises in Houghton's parking deck renovations so far, the project's engineer told the Houghton City Council Wednesday night.
Restoration engineer and restoration consultant Bob Tracy said despite some leaking issues, the 33-year-old deck is structurally sound.
In places where the cables have been damaged by corrosion, the crews are adding new connectors and cables to supplement them.
Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette
Al Miller of DP Construction works on the Lakeshore Avenue parking deck in Houghton this morning. The project has gone as expected so far, restoration engineer and consultant Bob Tracy told the Houghton City Council Wednesday.
This summer's work, on the west side of the deck, is being done in two phases: first, working on the back ramp, then reversing the procedure and grinding a pathway at the top of the deck so people can enter from the back. The same procedure will be followed next year on the east side.
That way, one entrance will be open at all times, Tracy said.
"This is consistent with just good common sense and keeping your parking customers satisfied," he said.
At the end of next summer, they will add a protective surface coating. They're looking at pricing now, but may hold off to see if there are more favorable costs next year, Tracy said.
On the north deck, they're doing precision grinding to remove bad concrete, old patches and salt-contaminated concrete in the drive lane.
"We come up the drive lane, we have found several of the cables rusted clean off," he said. "We don't try to save those; we just put brand new cabling in, because the new cabling today has far heavier plastic coating and far better corrosion-resistant grease, and has anchorages that are all encapsulated, corrosion can't get to them."
The procedure for the parking deck has been in place in Michigan since 1988, Tracy said.
"There's no guinea pig effect," he said. "This has all been done before."
Even as they're ripping the deck up, its behavior is staying within parameters, Tracy said. However, he expects the upper deck could have more aggressive deterioration.
"We're still a little bit in the dark until we finish the upper half. I don't think there'll be a big surprise, but, worst-case scenario, we might have to put a few more cables in the upper deck," he said. "We have provisions in this contract to do that, by virtue of the unit price nature of the bid that we forced the contractor to follow. So they can't throw us a big change order to try to reprice anything - we've got it all nailed down."
On the first segment, they only found four broken cables; the number jumped to six as they came up past the expansion joint.
Provisions call for three new trenches of cabling. Since the failures all occurred on one side, they then took additional cabling trench and reinforcing, moving it over to the other side.
"That's no change in schedule, that's no change in scope, that's no change in cost," Tracy said.
The new concrete includes corrosion inhibitors, as well as a densifier.
Tracy said he will file a written report halfway through the project.