Load tests performed at Park and Ride

Load tests for the support structures of the two-story, concrete parking garage at the Park and Ride currently under construction on North Mercer Way were performed about two weeks ago. If the evaluation determines a necessary retrofit of the garage was successful, the project could be completed and opened in about a month.

Sound Transit, however, has not listed an official scheduled opening date until the evaluation is completed. The evaluation of the load tests is expected to be completed after the new year holiday.

The city’s planning department must then determine the facility is safe and in compliance with its building codes, as well as issue an occupancy certificate. The city is awaiting the load test results before it begins its reviews for issuing the project’s final permits.

Contractors for Sound Transit conducted load tests to review the two-story garage’s support structures throughout the day and into the night from Dec. 18 to 21.

Concrete blocks were delivered to the site and loaded onto the test area to conduct the load tests. Engineers and designers also monitored and inspected the site once the concrete blocks were put in place.

A cracked beam found more than a year ago has resulted in the necessary retrofit of the project. The rest of the project has been completed but the cracked concrete support beam must be determined safe before the garage opens.

A total of three parking spots were lost in the retrofit, leaving 447 spots. Construction was originally scheduled to be completed in March 2007 but the cracked beam delayed the project significantly. The initial design to retrofit the facility submitted to the city last summer for approval required additional engineering and the subsequent re-design — which was tested last month — had to be devised.

A second opening date was then scheduled for October 2006 but the completion was again delayed into December. The delay into 2008 came about with the need to add the additional engineering, test the support of the structure and complete the permit approval process.

For more information about the project and structural issues visit Sound Transit’s Web page for the project at

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