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Los Angeles mayor proposes earthquake retrofit program

Pre-1978 apartment buildings and pre-1976 concrete buildings would be impacted

December 16, 2014 |
Photo: Thomas Pintaric via Wikimedia Commons

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has proposed major investments to retrofit older buildings to make them more resilient to earthquakes. The ambitious program would focus on some apartment buildings built before 1978 and concrete buildings constructed before 1976.

The plan also includes upgrading the city's water infrastructure. Garcetti said retrofits would cost billions of dollars, which would be borne by the public and private sectors.

The measures target pre-1978 apartment buildings with weak first floors, many of which were built over parking garages supported by narrow columns. Landlords would have to upgrade these structures within five years, costing an estimated $5,000 per unit.

Pre-1976 concrete buildings with columns and frame connectors that are brittle and can break during an earthquake would have to be upgraded within 25 years at an estimated cost of $10 to $15 a square foot. The proposal requires City Council approval.


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