Absher Construction Inc. of Puyallup is scheduled to begin construction this month of a parking garage for Pierce County near the County-City Building complex in Tacoma.

The company’s $3.34 million bid was the lowest of seven submitted for the project scheduled to begin this month. The project is expected to be completed by February 2000.

The three-level concrete structure will provide parking for 330 vehicles. It will replace parking lost when construction began on the new, nearly $50 million detention and corrections facility on the east side of Yakima Avenue between Ninth and 10th streets. The parking garage will be across Yakima from the new jail.

Other bids for the project ranged as high as $3.9 million.

Absher, which constructed a courtroom addition on the County-City Building in the 1980s, also is involved in the new jail project. A joint venture involving Absher and a Phoenix, Ariz.-based firm, Kitchell, was selected in October to serve as general contractor and construction manager for that project. The jail project will add a 1,000-bed facility on the northwest corner of the block housing the courthouse, jail and jail annex, as well as the city and county fleet maintenance and the National Guard Armory.

The first phase of the project will involve construction of the jail addition. That phase was initiated under Absher-Kitchell’s watchful eye last fall and is scheduled for completion in 2001.

The second phase of the project will involve renovation of the existing jail and is expected to be completed in 2002.

Absher is a third-generation, family operated business. Kitchell has a Northwest regional office in Portland that is overseeing its participation in the Pierce County project.

McGranahan Partnership of Tacoma makes up half of the project’s architectural design team. The other half if the national firm of HOK Architects.