Parking garage deterioration raising safety concerns

WWSB ABC7 News at 11pm
Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 8:01 PM EDT
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - The deterioration inside the Manatee County parking garage in downtown Bradenton has become a cause for concern among local leaders.

“It’s just getting worn out. It’s a structure that was constructed in 1986. It was built to the 1986 building code,” says the County’s Construction Services Manager Tom Yarger.

Yarger says the heavier vehicles on the road today and their repeated turns around the garage are part of what is causing the parking garage to deteriorate.

“All those kinds of things are making the building move around a little bit in ways that it’s not supposed to,” says Yarger.

County Commissioner George Kruse speaking up on the safety of the building in a workshop on Monday, saying the clock is ticking.

“The priority is fixing our parking down here which literally has less than two years left before it potentially crumbles,” says Kruse.

While some people parking in the garage say they don’t see it moving or shaking so they aren’t worries, others are more wary.

Brady works across from the garage and when asked if he would park in it, he said, “Absolutely not. If they said after two years it’s ready to crumble, that could just mean one really bad hurricane and next thing you know it’s coming down on all of us who are in there and that’s going to be a tragedy.”

But his friends do put it to use.

“Now that I’m informed about it I am probably going to inform them myself for their safety because you just never know. I would rather take safety over the risk,” says Brady.

The building is inspected quarterly, and the county says they haven’t seen any signs of an imminent structure failure.