Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Rochester’s newest municipal parking facility will officially open to the public Tuesday.

The ramp is located on the northwest corner of 1st St and 1st Ave SE and includes 630 parking stalls. Ninety will be reserved for guests of the adjoining new Hilton Hotel.

The facility will provide two skyway access points at the Hilton and Broadway Plaza. Four entry/exit gates on 1st Street SE can be converted to speed up vehicle exit at busy times. The three bay design of the ramp will allow two-way traffic on all levels. Flexible payment options allow pay by card at the gate or payment at one of seven kiosks stationed in both skyway and ground-level lobbies. And a landscaped plaza along First Ave. NE will provide bicycle storage options.

Leading-edge parking technologies will be implemented once usage patterns allow for the systems to be fine-tuned. These include a space guidance system to help parkers more quickly find available stalls, license plate recognition to speed entry and exits, and a mobile app to help locate parked vehicles.

The facility was constructed to accommodate up to 10 stories of residential development and the city is seeking proposals to construct mixed-income or affordable housing units on the site.

“The facility adds needed capacity to downtown parking and will enhance options for downtown shoppers, visitors, and commuters,” according to Public Works Director Chris Petree. “We are incredibly proud of the technology and design that went into Ramp 6. It is reflective of the type of experience we want community members and visitors to have when using public facilities.”

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