FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – The City of Florence began taking bids to build a new parking deck on Tuesday, August 23.

The new parking deck will be five and a half stories tall and be able to house 276 vehicles. Florence City Council member Kaytrina Simmons told News 19 that the new parking deck will come with “growing pains,” but it should help with the growing parking issue in Downtown Florence.

it’s a much-needed project,” Simmons said, “With the City of Florence growing, and especially with the downtown of Florence growing with the businesses and the restaurants that are coming, with the students, we have to have places for the people to be able to park.”

Charles Brooks, a Florence resident, told News 19 that he has dealt with parking issues for years.

“If you do come to a place like a thriving downtown district on a Friday night, you might have to park maybe four or five blocks away,” Brooks said, “and if you have to walk that far, many people just won’t come.”

Florence Mayor Andy Betterton told News 19 that the project would take around a year to complete. He later added that the project is expected to cost the city somewhere between $10.8 million and $11.5 million.