Structural issues with a parking garage in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan prompted an engineer hired by the building owner to call 911 to report it, leading city officials to issue a vacate order. As more structural issues were discovered, Amtrak also suspended service on its lines running under the garage. Emergency repairs are underway.

After the engineer working for building owner Lineage Properties reported the issues Nov. 10 at the garage on 10th Ave. between West 50th and 51st streets, engineers for the NYC Dept. of Buildings and Amtrak found two small holes several inches across on the entrance ramp of the garage and a ramp to the lower level, an agency spokesperson says. Records show they also discovered “all levels” of the garage were defective with exposed rebar and cracks. 

The 107-space garage is built on a platform above two Amtrak lines running from Penn Station north through Westchester County.

The city and Amtrak engineers initially determined they could install overhead protection above the tracks to allow trains to run as normal while repairs proceeded above, according to the buildings agency. However, workers discovered additional structural issues at the roof of the tunnel below the garage while installing the overhead protection on Nov. 12. Department engineers returned to the site and found defects including cracked and deteriorated steel beams. The engineers then determined it was not safe to run trains on the Amtrak lines.

Train service between Penn Station and Croton-Harmon has been suspended since Nov. 12.

NYC_garage_hole_ENRweb.jpgOne of two holes found in concrete ramps in the garage. Photo courtesy of NYC Dept. of Buildings

Inspectors also reported observing a bulging masonry facade above the garage entrance on 51st Street and a spalling concrete retaining wall at the site, records show.

The cause of the structural issues is still under investigation, a buildings department spokesperson says.

The building owner hired general contractor G Builders LLC to make the repairs, according to the agency. The updated plans include temporary shoring of the damaged ramps in addition to the overhead protection above the railroad. Based on a timeline provided by contractors, the buildings department says trains could run on one of the Amtrak lines as soon as Nov. 16 and the second as soon as the night of Nov. 17. 

The garage sits beside a 38-story residential building and a school. However, the structural defects are contained to the area below the garage, and no other buildings are impacted, the agency spokesperson says.

A city law passed in 2021 added new requirements for parking structure owners to hire an engineer for inspections at least once every six years. Earlier this year, a three-story garage in Lower Manhattan partially collapsed, killing one person and injuring several others.