Monday, June 23, 2014

Underground parking garage remains exposed

This hole was made when the asphalt in the Bank of Commerce parking lot collapsed under a CCI crane May 6. No word on when it is going to be repaired, but you might be surprised to learn that Dad Clay's Garage, where the bank now is, offered underground parking to those who wanted to pay for it.
The Bank of Commerce is close to finished evaluating the hole in its parking lot on Yellowstone Avenue, made May 6 when the driver of a 40-ton crane tried to make a wide turn coming out of the alley onto the thoroughfare.

At the moment, the bank's officers need to consult with engineers to decide how much of the underground parking structure they want to save, said CEO Tom Romrell.

Although the existence of the parking structure came as a surprise to many, it's no secret to anyone who has lived here a long time. The bank stands where Dad Clay's Garage used to be. Clay built his garage in 1910 and briefly sold Buicks and Fords before other businessmen acquired exclusive dealership rights.

"People who had a little money would park their cars there because they could walk everywhere," said my friend Catherine Gesas Nelson, a longtime Idaho Falls resident.

Romrell said the door to the underground parking structure is on the bank's south side. He said that while some city officials claim they might not have been aware of it, it has been inspected as recently as five years ago.

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