Walsh Construction Project Wins Prestigious ICRI Award
The Repair and Preventative Maintenance of the East Monroe Parking Garage was a fast paced 15-month renovation project in the heart of downtown Chicago.
The underground parking facility is located below Grant Park and covers a foot print of 760 feet wide by 1200 feet long. The parking garage is part of the largest parking system in the United States. and has three levels with two underground parking levels accommodating 3,850 vehicles.
The garage has been in operation for almost four decades and has exterior and interior structural elements that were severely deteriorated. The entire garage received upgrades including extensive concrete repairs, new waterproofing systems, new elevator, escalators, HVAC, and renovations to the North Lobby.
One of the most crucial aspects of the project was the hydro-demolishing of the concrete deck on the upper level of the parking garage and replacing the concrete. There are only a hand-full of contractors in the country that specialize in hydro-demolition.
The project was extremely unique due to the fact it was entirely underground. Ventilation, temporary lighting, wireless phone usage, and ingress/egress to the site are typically not a cause for concern on most projects. But being underground is a different scenario. Maintaining proper ventilation and lighting were major concerns. Supply and exhaust fans surrounding the garage were monitored daily to ensure they were functioning properly and carbon monoxide levels were monitored regularly.
Without proper ventilation, non of the machines and equipment could be used. The main culprit, of course, was the hydro-demolition machine. Not only did it exhaust a large amount of carbon monoxide, it also emitted a lot of heat and introduced a tremendous amount of moisture into the air. When these machines were running at full capacity, a mist formed around it causing humidity and visibility concerns in the area - and the water spray guns only made things worse. Blowers/fans were situated at these areas to combat these hazards. An ice box was provided to battle heat exhaustion among the workers. Also, additional land-lines were installed at various locations within the garage. All of these measures ensured a safe and successful project.