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Pearl/Elm Garage in downtown Worcester to close for repairs

BY Grant Welker

8/16/2018
Photo/Zachary Comeau
Photo/Zachary Comeau
The Pearl/Elm Garage, needing emergency repairs, will be closed from Saturday, Aug. 18 through Sunday, Aug. 26. The garage will re-open at 6 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 27.

The Pearl/Elm Garage will close for repairs for more than a week starting Saturday after engineers determined the structure's safety has been compromised.
The garage will be closed from Saturday, Aug. 18 through Sunday, Aug. 26. The garage will re-open at 6 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 27. During the closure, drivers are advised to use the Worcester Common Garage at 3 Eaton Place or the Federal Plaza Garage at 570 Main St.
The 800-space Pearl/Elm Garage, which opened around 1950 and has been expanded several times since, remains safe in the meantime until repairs can be done, the city said in announcing the closure on Thursday.
An engineer and the city's Department of Public Works & Parks determined several structural connections compromised the garage's safety.
The repairs will accelerate work to be done as part of a two-year, $18-million rehabilitation project for the garage the city announced in June. That project will include full-scale structural repairs including new concrete and steel, upgraded decking, a new facade and new elevators and stairwells.
Public Works Commissioner Paul Moosey said the garage repairs were not anticipated to require a closure, but the recent inspection made that impossible.
"These are really repairs that are necessary because of corrosion and rust," he said. "It was a last resort for me."
The components of the garage needing replacing are connections between beams and columns, Moosey said. The beams and columns themselves do not need to be replaced, he said. Aside from the emergency repairs, the rest of the garage repairs will take place as scheduled during the rest of the project.