JPL's entrance OK'd

Jet Propulsion Laboratory representatives met with the La Cañada Flintridge Public Works Commission last week to receive final approval for the construction of the new canopy, guard center, bus stop and round-about entrance on Oak Grove Drive.

The majority of issues propounded by the commission previously were all addressed, such as a back for the bus stop to protect those waiting from the elements, a back support to the bus stop bench and further lighting. JPL has also guaranteed to complete the project in its entirety as opposed to piece-meal, which was a requirement for the commission's consideration in granting an encroachment permit.

Despite the number of requests met, one issue that was not addressed was Commissioner James Lai's concern regarding the structural stability of the canopy. At a previous meeting Lai posed that with the failure of a single internal diagonal the entire structure could potentially collapse.

JPL answered that their design standards were much higher than local and state codes, and therefore, should more than meet seismic demands.

Additionally, Public Works Department staff agreed that the design was satisfactory, citing that the triangular structure created double redundancy, solving the stability question. However, Commissioner Lai, still troubled, moved for the JPL structural engineer's record to be submitted to staff for review proving in calculation that with the removal of the internal diagonal brace that the structure would still be stable.

“I think JPL owes the city that level of confidence,” Lai said.

Subject to staff's review of the structural stability of the canopy columns, the final design is approved and construction should begin late August.

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