St. Paul leaders are making a final push for $58 million in state bonding dollars to rebuild the RiverCentre parking ramp downtown, after the House passed a bonding bill without the money.
A group of city, business, labor and community leaders delivered letters to the Capitol on Tuesday urging legislators to support the request, according to a news release. It would pay for half the cost of replacing the 48-year-old ramp, with the rest paid by the city.
“The RiverCentre Ramp is living on borrowed time,” Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council President Harry Melander, who was at the Capitol Tuesday, said in a statement. “We respectfully hope that our state legislators will support funding this critical project.”
The RiverCentre ramp is St. Paul’s most-used parking ramp, generating $4.9 million in annual gross sales revenue. It’s also deteriorating, despite the more than $15 million the city has spent on ramp maintenance and repairs over the last 18 years. City engineers say the ramp will need to be rebuilt by 2020. The city said it would match the state’s bonding award to cover the $116 million cost of replacing it.
On Monday, Rep. Rena Moran, DFL-St. Paul, introduced an amendment to the House version of the bonding bill that would have provided funding for the RiverCentre ramp, but later withdrew it. The Senate version of the bonding bill includes $5 million for demolishing the ramp.