Springfield extends free parking at new downtown garage

A downtown Springfield parking garage that opened in May will be free to use for the rest of the year, city officials announced Friday.

“We want to give the public more opportunities to become more familiar with the convenience of using the downtown garage,” said Springfield City Manager Bryan Heck in a news release.

“The parking garage is another part of the overall growth in our community as we continue to make our city an even better place to work, live and play, downtown and beyond,” he added.

City officials had previously announced in August that the parking garage would be free during the month of September. However, they decided to extend that period to allow the community more time to become acquainted with it.

The coronavirus pandemic has led a number of area employers to either tweak their operations or transition some of their staff to working remotely. As a result, there has been lower traffic in the downtown area as the garage opened to the public, Heck said.

“Extending free parking through the end of the year opens up more chances for residents, visitors and downtown employees to experience the convenience of using the garage,” he added.

Construction for the garage on Fountain Avenue started lasted year in a project that is estimated to cost roughly $7 million. The structure offers 305 parking spaces as well as 3,000 square feet to be used as retail space.

The parking garage is part of a larger plan by the city to better coordinate parking in the downtown area.

Normally it costs $2 per hour to park there with a $6 daily maximum. Monthly passes can also be purchased for $55. However, those fees will be waived until the start of next year.

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