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Brick by brick

| Monday, June 12, 2006

Uniontown is about four months away from having a long-awaited second parking garage.

Concrete Preservation Systems Inc., of Monroeville, started working on the parking garage in November 2005 along North Gallatin Avenue, across the street from city hall.

"It's going really well," said John Fratto, owner of Concrete Preservation Systems Inc.

Work on the three-level parking garage was supposed to be complete in June, but city council paid about $600,000 from a state grant to add another half-level to the parking garage.

Fratto said the parking garage is now a three-and-a-half-level structure with 270 parking stalls and is considered to be a cast-in-place concrete structure.

Fratto said a cast-in-place concrete structure is better than the steel-framed structures because the concrete has a longer life, requires less maintenance and will look nicer than rusting steel structures over time.

The parking garage will have a brick facade.

"It will look very sharp and will blend in with the buildings around it," Fratto said.

Fratto said the work on the parking garage should be finished in September with a cost of about $4 million.

"This is going to pay off," Mayor James Sileo said. "I watch them every day, and they're progressing very nicely."

With the courthouse a couple of blocks away and with multiple festivals happening in the city year-round, Sileo said it's difficult to find a parking space in the city during court week and during big events.

"This will be an asset for the city and the county," Sileo said. "We need this garage. We really do."

Sileo said there will be a resolution that will be up for a vote by city council in the upcoming months dealing with the parking garage and if they will have a person working there to collect money or install a machine to collect the tolls.

Earlier this week, city council announced that a portion of Penn Street from Beeson Boulevard to North Gallatin Avenue will be restricted to only truck traffic until Sept. 11 while crews will work on the building for what they hope to be a September opening.

"I'm looking forward to the ribbon-cutting," Sileo said.

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