Legislative Council sues construction company over sinking parking garage

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SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A multi-million dollar parking garage — paid for by the public just a few years ago — is falling apart. Now there’s a fight over who should pay for the repairs.

A ‘park at your own risk’ sign has a whole new meaning at one parking garage in Santa Fe.

“Inside the structure you can notice some vertical cracking,” said Thomas Hnasko, attorney representing The New Mexico Legislative Council.

The 602-space State Capitol Parking Facility across from the Roundhouse is only six years old, but the New Mexico Legislative Council says it is already falling apart.

“Some places the sidewalk itself has settled,” said Hnasko.

The first signs of problems began in 2013. A property manager first noticed the walls of the maintenance closet and office were sinking.

“It was built on soils that aren’t sufficient to handle that load,” said Hnasko.

The state said it has tried for years — to negotiate with Gerald A. Martin – the Albuquerque-based construction company that built the parking garage. But now the state is suing the construction company.

“At this point, we would be more confident in fixing the problem ourselves, we want them to pay the tab,” said Hnasko.

The estimated cost of repairs?

“It will be upwards, near seven figures,” said Hnasko.

According to the lawsuit, a study of the land was conducted before construction and found that it was “…susceptible to subsidence, settlement, expansion, or potential collapse.”

The state said it did provide Gerald A. Martin with these results.

“It doesn’t appear that they followed those recommendations in preparing the soils.”

As the fight over who picks up the repair tab continues, the state says there is no danger to public safety.

“It’s perfectly fine and safe presently,” said Hnasko.

Gerald A. Martin said they have no comment on the matter.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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