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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -  It was a totally unexpected announcement from the city of Rochester Thursday evening.

The city issued a news release at 7:30 pm, announcing the sudden closing of the parking ramp that serves the new Hilton Hotel, contract customers and the public.

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Known as Ramp #6, it opened in March 2019, and later that year, the city said there were  "a variety of problems” with the structure. They were discovered while a developer was looking into building a housing project above the ramp.

The developer told the city it had determined there was not sufficient structural and footing support for the project. The city began talks with Collaborative Design Group, the firm that designed the ramp, and after failing to reach a remedy a lawsuit was filed earlier this year.

The lawsuit essentially accuses the firm of not designing the ramp to accommodate an additional ten stories for a housing project, as it was contracted to do. The lawsuit says significant modifications would have to be made to accommodate a housing project.

KROC AM News contacted the city for more information about the sudden closing of the ramp and submitted these questions:

  • Are these emergency/unexpected repairs?
  • The estimated cost?
  • Will more work be necessary?
  • Is the work affecting just a small part of the ramp or the entire ramp?

Jenna Bowman, Strategic Communications & Engagement Director for the city, had this response:

“We are not able to comment further because of pending litigation on Ramp 6.”

driver leaving ramp after discovering it was closed- Kim David/TSM

The suddenness of the closing apparently caught many by surprise. The ramp's electronic signs still read "OPEN" at 8:00 am Friday and the entrances on both sides of the facility remained open. Several motorists were seen entering the ramp only to turn around after discovering the interior ticketing gates were closed.

Rochester ramp #6 closed -Kim David/TSM

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