SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Work on the new Saratoga Springs City Center parking garage can continue despite new state restrictions on construction projects. The restrictions are part of efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The $12 million Flat Rock parking garage, which will add 500 parking spaces in Saratoga's downtown, began late last year and is scheduled for at least partial opening this summer. The work has been deemed an "essential infrastructure project" that can continue, under guidelines set by Empire State Development.
City Center officials on Tuesday said that design-build contractor Bette and Cring has submitted a set of site-specific COVID-19 procedures to keep workers safe. "We are confident that Bette and Cring is able to meet these procedures and they are prepared to continue work in accordance with such policies," authority officials said in a prepared statement.
"It will meet all appropriate social distancing, cleaning and disinfection standards," the statement continued. "The multi-acre site will maintain an extremely low concentration of workers and have multiple hand-wash stations as well as available hand-sanitizer."
The five-story structure on Maple Avenue across the street from the City Center is seen by city officials as vital to hosting conventions at the center, and to improving the generally tight public parking situation throughout the downtown, where parking is at a premium during normal times.
Mayor Meg Kelly, meanwhile, said that work on the $10 million renovation of City Hall in the wake of a 2018 lightning strike and flood is on hold for the next week, while the city and its contractors determine if the work plan can be adjusted for coronavirus procedures that will allow work to continue.
Work on the first floor was close to being done when the statewide coronavirus emergency was declared in mid-March. Plans to move city government back from its temporary headquarters in the city Recreation Center are on hold. While the first floor offices are nearly ready, work on upper floors that will contain City Court space and a renovated city Music Hall has always been expected to last into spring.