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Quake Upgrade May Start in Year

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Repair work on City Hall and other city buildings and bridges could begin within a year as a result of Tuesday’s passage of Proposition G, a $376-million bond issue to upgrade aging municipal structures to meet earthquake standards, according to Los Angeles city officials.

The ballot measure, which required a two-thirds majority for passage, won with 72% of the votes cast.

Almost one-third of the money--about $112 million--will be earmarked to repair the historic 27-story City Hall. Also on the priority list of projects are 136 multispan bridges, including several built in the 1920s that link downtown with the Eastside.

A total of 459 city-owned bridges are scheduled for repairs.

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“The measure will allow the city to make necessary repairs for the movement of emergency vehicles during and after a major earthquake,” said City Councilman Richard Alatorre, the proposition’s author and chairman of the council’s Public Safety Committee.

He added that the measure will also allow strengthening of buildings vital to maintaining public order, such as police and fire stations and those frequently used by the general public. In the last category, he said, are the Anderson Memorial Senior Recreation Center in San Pedro and the outdoor 6,200-seat Greek Theater in the Hollywood Hills, where the stage needs strengthening.

Also considered of particular importance are the 11 historic structures--including the Avila Abode, the city’s oldest building--at Olvera Street, the aging Mexican marketplace north of the Civic Center. About $16 million has been set aside for seismic work there.

The city would be “exposed to a great deal of liability” at Olvera Street if there is a substantial loss of life due to an earthquake since as many as 2 million people visit the tourist spot each year, Alatorre said.

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Deputy City Engineer Rodney Haraga said the repair work authorized by the proposition on 84 buildings and 459 bridges should be completed in five to seven years.

He added that the design work on City Hall, completed in 1928, has not begun.


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