Sunday, January 8, 2012

Olive Street Parking Garage.....S H A K E S!

How big of a problem are these deteriorating seams?
Should a concrete parking garage shake?  Olive St. parking garage does.  Over the last year I've been meaning to investigate this odd occurance further.  You may know what I'm talking about if you've been to the top level of this garage during an event.

Last Fall I attended the Gibbons Rock and Roll Auto show and couldn't get over the very noticeable flexing of the concrete floor during the event.  You can feel it through your shoes, but I also observed a motorcycle parked on it's kickstand ever so slightly swaying a bit back and forth.  That was enough for me to wonder how structurally sound this building was.
The garage has been there for at least 40 years and I have no idea what the life expectancy of these designs are, but for the record, someone should know about this and do a formal evaluation.  Concrete is a very brittle, rigid material; it's not meant to flex.  And if it does, that's a serious issue.


  1. The Granite Run Mall does the same thing ~ you have to have some expansion in things or they will crumble. Not to mention everything in nature (and man made) has it's own vibration sometimes we can feel it and sometimes we can't. Look it up and read into it, it's actually quite fascinating. Even your dining table has it's own motion. This is actually taught in most basic Physics classes.

  2. Cement forms are poured over a strong cage of rebar. It remains strong even with cracks. That doesn't mean the cracks don't need to be inspected and possibly repaired. It needs to be looked at from underneath to be sure what the actual situation is.

  3. call an engineer and have the situation investigated properly. There are any number of specialized firms available for initial consultation. Suggest as a decent place to start.