EASTON, Pa. – There may be fewer parking woes in Easton's future now that construction for a new North Fourth Street garage has been approved.
On Wednesday, the Easton City Council voted 5-1-1 to approve six resolutions related to the project. Councilman Kenneth Brown was not present for the meeting. Councilman Peter Melan voted no on the resolutions.
Taking lead on the estimated $15.7 million project will be Pennoni Associates Inc., based in Bethlehem. The estimated construction expenses include contingencies for "unforeseen additional costs," according to City Administraor Luis Campos.
"In some cases it's difficult to tell what could be under the ground, so there's built-in overages," he said.
Plans call for consolidating four parcels located at 37-43 N. Fourth St., making one nearly 34,000-square-foot lot. The parking garage will add almost 500 parking spots and stand six stories tall.
The garage, once complete, will replace the Pine Street garage which is nearly 50 years old and becoming increasingly costly for the city to repair. Maintenance for that garage, Campos said, is estimated to cost between $170,000 and $1 million.
"We're constantly monitoring the structural integrity of the garage to see what the improvements will be," Campos said of the Pine Street structure.
Construction on the North Fourth Street garage is expected to start sometime this spring with an anticipated May 2022 completion date, according to David Hopkins, Easton's Director of Public Services.
Residents who attended the virtual meeting expressed concern about not being able to access the Easton Public Market from the rear once construction begins.
"I think we're going to have to find an alternative means to access the market," said Hopkins. "In looking at the extent of the construction, it's going to be very difficult to have any consistent access to the market in the rear."