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$3.5m to fix structural faults in ageing Rundle St car park

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Adelaide City councillors have been urged to approve a $3.5 million renovation of the council’s Rundle Street UPark, after engineers revealed structural faults with the building could risk public safety.

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At last night’s committee meeting, the council’s associate director of infrastructure Klinton Devenish said an engineering consultancy firm had advised that the 40-year-old building on the corner of Rundle and Pulteney Streets had faults with its flooring and structure.

The council estimates the total repair cost to be between $3 to $3.5 million if work is completed in the next one to two years, with that cost estimated to increase to up to $12 million if works are not undertaken urgently.

“Considering the lease holds that we have in the building currently and considering business operations, we’ve identified a scenario that allows us to extend the life of the car park for approximately 10 years,” Devenish told last night’s meeting.

“That does require some structural improvements and structural renewal to the floors of the car park and some of the structural elements of the building itself.”

Devenish said the decision to put forward the costly renovation works in a draft version of the council’s 2019-20 budget was “not taken lightly”.

“If we do nothing to address some of the structural issues that we’ve been advised of there is the potential for the car park to have operations impacted by such a decision.”

When questioned by north ward councillor Phil Martin about why the works were required urgently, the council’s infrastructure performance and systems manager Jean-Pierre Koekemoeur said the decision was based on public safety.

“It is a public safety matter and I would definitely recommend that we do this as soon as possible,” he said.

“The (engineer’s) report also indicated that if you delayed the works for too long that option is no longer viable and the cost will be $7 million and then it would be $12 (million).”

The council’s director of operations Beth Davidson-Park told InDaily this morning the council-owned and operated building was showing “the wear and tear which is expected given its use and age”, but she said the car park was safe and there was no immediate risk of compromised public safety.

She clarified that the recommended work included addressing “situational corrosion repair”, crack repairs, improvements to drainage including sealing and waterproofing and new “wheel stops” for vehicle safety.

“Identifying these issues at this early stage means that we can plan the most cost-effective solution for consideration by Council in the 2019-20 budget,” she said.

“This will also ensure more significant works are not required in future years at a higher cost – this also means a more responsible use of rate payer funds.”

Martin told last night’s meeting the estimated cost to fix the building was “substantial”.

“I am aware that work is required on our car parks, but Rundle UPark – $3.5 million to improve public safety measures? That’s a lot of money,” he said.

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