The Erie Parking Authority expects to decide in about a month, if plans to build a new parking ramp near UPMC Hamot should move forward.

A feasibility study is underway focused on building a three or four deck ramp on the site of a hospital owned surface lot at West 2nd and Peach.

The estimated cost is $15-$17 million.

Two other authority operated ramps near the hospital are very busy.

In fact, there is a long waiting list for monthly employee parking permits.

The new ramp could provide up to 700 parking spots.

The study will determine if the ramp will generate enough income to prevent red ink.

Erie Parking Authority Executive Director Ray Massing said, "We need to break even. We are not even trying to make a profit on it."

The authority already operates nine ramps including the two near UPMC Hamot.