SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Concerns of safety are being voiced about a downtown Springfield parking garage.
The garage in question is the one under I-91 that runs through downtown.
I-91 is a busy highway and all the car and truck travel is taking its toll on the highway.
On the second floor of the garage under the highway, some 140 spaces are cordoned off by the Springfield Parking Authority to keep people from parking where the authority feels debris could fall.
There are visible signs of the damage, including fallen debris.
Many who park in the garage are concerned.
“The ceiling of the garage has been deteriorating and very large chunks of cement…sometimes we’ve seen them as large as a football are actually falling from that overhead structure,” says Tiffany Greene.
To catch some of that falling debris, metal grates have been placed under the ceiling.
The Springfield Parking Authority says the state owns the highway which is the cause of the problem.
The authority adds it is doing what it can to make the garage as safe as possible for its customers.
Some are now staying away.
“I try to avoid parking on the upper deck, which is the second floor of that garage whenever possible. I’m also not fond of walking through the area because I have observed this is a regular occurrence,” Greene adds.
The parking authority is expected to meet with state officials next week to discuss the safety concerns.
MassDOT released a statement Friday afternoon saying that,” MassDOT is aware of the issues in this area. We are continuously inspecting the deck and completing repairs as needed. In relation to the parking facility, we are installing shielding to prevent any damages or injury that could be caused by falling debris. The rehabilitation of the Viaduct is a top priority and plans to advance a fix are close to being finalized.’