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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The newest parking ramp in downtown Rochester was abruptly closed Thursday evening.

The city issued this news release around 7:30 pm:

Based on the ongoing analysis of Ramp 6 (59 1st Street SE), there is a need to complete work within the ramp and it has been closed. It will remain closed until the work is complete.

Public Works Director Wendy Turri shared, “Pursuant to continued evaluation of the Ramp 6 structure, we will be working with a contractor to complete work on Ramp 6. We have closed the ramp and will communicate when it will reopen. We thank the community, our downtown businesses and our visitors for their patience.”

Those with contract parking in Ramp 6 should look for communication from REEF Parking. Contract parkers will have the ability to park at any of the City of Rochester owned ramps in downtown Rochester.

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The ramp is located on the northwest corner of 1st St and 1st Ave SE and includes 630 parking stalls. It opened in March 2019.

The $31-million facility was constructed to accommodate up to 10 stories of residential development and the city was in talks with a developer to build a $38-million affordable housing complex on top of the ramp. That was in the fall of 2019 and that’s when the city said it “experienced a variety of problems” with the ramp.

Rochester parking ramp #6- Kim David, Townsquare Media
Rochester parking ramp #6- Kim David, Townsquare Media
Rochester parking ramp #6- Kim David, Townsquare Media
Rochester parking ramp #6- Kim David, Townsquare Media

The talks came to a halt when the developer told the city it had determined there was not sufficient structural and footing support for the project. At the time, the city said they were not safety-related but affected the proposed expansion. The city then spent more than $200,000 on additional studies and repairs.

Earlier this year, the city filed a lawsuit against Collaborative Design Group, accusing the firm of not designing the ramp to accommodate the housing project, as it was contracted to do.

The lawsuit says significant modifications would have to be made to accommodate a housing project.

News update: Minnesota Republican convention to be held in Rochester.

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