160904_parking_jas (copy)

Demolition continues on the Felix Street parking garage. The parking structure was part of an Urban Renewal project, which started in 1969.

The former city parking garage between Eighth and Ninth streets on Felix gets smaller every day. Soon, the old, Urban Renewal-era lot will give way to a new parking facility and retail shops beneath it.

Demolition crews continue to work in the rubble, separating chunks of concrete and steel rebar reinforcement rods that will soon be recycled.

Dave Berthiaume is the field manager for Capital Performance Management, which is overseeing the project. He said besides the new structure, the old piles of rock will be put to good use.

“Currently, the concrete is being separated from the steel, so that we can recycle. Everything there will be recycled, we won’t put anything in the landfill,” he said. “There is a crusher — an actual rock crusher coming in soon, in the next two or three days that will break up the concrete into usable gravel. We’re estimating in the neighborhood of 3,000 tons, I believe it is, of gravel that we will recycle. Much of it will be used back into the project.”

Besides the piles of rubble visible above ground, Berthiaume said what lies beneath the structure also is a challenge.

“Right now, the bottom deck is still intact. So we have to get all that cleaned out and exposed to demo,” he said. “There are also pilings under that, that have to be removed yet, and we have to be careful with fiber optic lines that run underneath, so there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done.”

Underground sewers and water lines also are a concern before the new structure can begin to take shape.

“Once we’re through, the city actually has a contract with another company to reroute water coming down Frederick around the new facility because we have a real water problem in that area,” Berthiaume said.

C.P.M. soon will receive bids from contractors for various things such as concrete, HVAC and other building items.

“We’ve interviewed the two lowest contractors in each trade, plumbing, electrical, the general trades and that information has been turned over to Mosaic, and they are now taking that under advisement,” he said.

Hopes are that construction can begin later this year with completion of the complex sometime in 2017. The new parking and retail space is a joint project of Mosaic Life Care and the city of St. Joseph.

Bob Heater can be reached at bob.heater@knpn.com. Follow him on Twitter: @KNPNHeater.