As part of an earthquake safety survey, city officials have determined that more than one-third of the city’s commercial buildings were built before reinforcements were routinely used to protect against possible earthquake damage.
City Administrator James E. McRea said Building Inspector Steve Pock has almost completed a survey of the city’s 85 commercial buildings, and the results show that 30 of the buildings, most of them one-story, have non-reinforced masonry construction. This construction style, McRea said, was used before 1935, when stricter building codes went into effect to guard against earthquake damage.
The survey is part of the state-required process that every city in the state must undertake by 1990, McRea said.
A more detailed engineering inspection of the buildings will be necessary, McRea said, before city officials can know what, if any, corrective steps might be required.
“They went through the last five earthquakes and didn’t fall down,” McRea said of the non-reinforced buildings. “But that doesn’t mean they won’t fall down with the next one.”