BART today closed the top floor of the El Cerrito del Norte station parking garage for emergency repairs that may take two or three weeks.

The closure was triggered when construction inspectors found a broken steel tendon that reinforces the top floor on the four-level garage, BART spokesman Linton Johnson said.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we closed the top floor," he said. "All the other floors are fine."

Inspectors found the broken floor reinforcement while checking out recent construction work done to make the garage more resistant to earthquakes.

To help offset the loss of parking spaces, BART will offer free valet parking between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on weekdays at a lot on the north side of the station between Knott Avenue and Cutting Boulevard.

The valets, who take riders' car keys and park their vehicles, can squeeze more cars into the lot. Train riders must pick up their cars before 10 p.m. when the attendants leave. After that, they must wait until the 7 a.m. the following morning or pay a $50 after-hour car retrieval fee.

Reach Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267. Read the Capricious Commuter blog at www.ibabuzz.com/transportation



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