FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A brand new parking garage in downtown Fayetteville is now open to the public.

The six-story garage is located on the corner of West Avenue and Watson Street. Drivers will have to pay $1 per hour to park there, except for Thursday through Saturday nights from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. when it goes up to $1.50 per hour.

Gary Smith, the director of transit and parking with the University of Arkansas, said the parking garage frees up land for other uses.

“It can do a lot to make traffic easier and make it easier for customers to access the businesses,” Smith said. “The idea is to try to move your long-term parking to the garage and your short-term parking on the street near the businesses.”

The parking garage replaces the West Avenue surface lot, which is set to close Monday.

Smith said the parking garage will provide an extra bit of convenience for drivers that park there.

“Your car’s cooler when you come back in the summer,” Smith said. “If it’s snowing in the winter, you don’t have to scrape snow off the windows. Also, it’s more convenient to be able to, in bad weather, especially rain, be able to get in and out of your vehicle without having to worry about the rain.”