The Lucy Tower multi-storey car park will be closed for longer than expected as structural engineers discovered more repairs are needed than initially planned.
During works to replace concrete and steel reinforcement from the middle decks, exposing the steel reinforcement, it has been discovered the work needed to secure the structure is more extensive than initially predicted.
The car park closed in March for a planned 20 weeks. Work has now stopped on site until the new specifications have been drawn up.
The City Council, which owns the car park, is currently drawing up plans for the extra work. This is expected to be completed by the end of the month, when new timescales and costs will be released.
John Bibby, Director of Housing and Community Services at the City of Lincoln Council, said: “Our initial target of 20 weeks for the completion of improvement works at Lucy Tower Street car park was based on surveys undertaken by our consultant structural engineers.
“However, once the project began it became increasingly obvious that the site needed more extensive work than had initially been anticipated. This unforeseen issue did not come to light until the concrete was cut away to reveal the steel reinforcement beneath.
“Safety is our first priority and the level of corrosion we found in the steel was worse than had been anticipated. This must be addressed as part of these works in order to ensure the structural integrity of the car park for the future.
“We are currently working with contractors, consultants and engineers to see how we can get the required works completed as quickly and safely as possible and to the highest of standards. It is vital that, once reopened, we don’t need to close the building again for the forseeable future.
“This extra work is inevitably going to cause a delay in the completion of the project, this is unavoidable and we apologise for this inconvenience. We will make the extent of the delay clear to all as soon as we have that detail available.”
The extra car parking provisions put in place during the closure for Lucy Tower will remain in operation until the car park reopens.
The council will be notifying businesses in the area this week and will keep Orchard Street car park open for public pay and display parking as long as Lucy Tower car park is closed.
Lucy Tower car park was built in the 1970s and is constructed primarily of reinforced concrete. Over recent winters the cold weather and salts brought in from the roads has caused corrosion to parts of the car park leading to the decision to close the 458-space car park for essential repair works.
The initial estimated cost of the works was £1.1 million. The works are expected to extend the life of the car park by 20 years.
Lucy Tower brings more than £850,000 per year in revenue for the council.