Carl Walker Construction

How did Carl Walker Construction, Inc. dismantle and rebuild an entire underground parking garage and still keep it in service?

Gateway Center is a landmark complex of seven high-rise buildings located in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Built in the 1950s and early 1960, the complex is serviced by a central underground parking garage.  In 2004, after decades of use, approximately 136,000 square feet of concrete parking decks were suffering from the effects of high levels of chloride infiltration. This resulted in significant steel and concrete deterioration, and an inability to make lasting concrete repairs to the parking surfaces. After an extensive engineering review done by an outside consultant, it was determined that the entire structure comprising the garage’s two suspended floors, as well as all parking surfaces, required total replacement.

Due to extremely limited parking availability in downtown Pittsburgh, it was necessary to keep as much of the garage as possible open during reconstruction. While it was possible to barricade off sections of the parking structure, access for leased patrons, as well as elevator banks serving one of the office towers had to be maintained at all times.

The existing suspended floors were systematically cut into sections and removed from the garage. To keep the support columns and exterior walls from buckling, the underground structure was braced to mitigate the effects of external ground pressure. Once the old material was carted away, repair work was performed on the structural steel that supported the parking decks. When those repairs were complete, new reinforced concrete floors were installed. The garage remained open throughout the rehabilitation and reconstruction activities, and all work was completed within a span of 12 months.


“When we put Gateway Center Garage’s full deck replacement project out for bid, Carl Walker Construction, Inc.’s proposal was extremely competitive and they won the bid hands down. Throughout the project, Joe White was always available and extremely responsive.

Their field management is excellent, and the work they have done for us has extended the useful life of our parking facilities.”

Deb Donely
General Manager
Hertz Gateway Center L.P.