Santa Monica Lookout
|Steer Clear of Second Street in Downtown Santa Monica Tuesday, Officials Say||
By Jason Islas
October 29, 2013 -- Construction crews will work through the night Monday to dismantle the 190-foot crane that, for the past several months, has towered over Downtown Santa Monica’s newest parking structure.
Starting at 8 p.m. Monday, 2nd Street between Santa Monica Boulevard and Broadway will be closed to cars, pedestrians and bikes until the crew can break down and move out the gargantuan piece of machinery used in the renovation of Parking Structure 6.
The whole process, which marks the beginning of the final stage of construction on the 11-level parking structure, will likely take a full 24 hours and will require construction crews to bring in an even larger piece of equipment, a 200-foot tall mobile crane.
"At 8 o'clock tonight, they will start setting up the mobile crane," Director of Public Works Martin Pastucha told The Lookout Monday.
Pastucha said that by midnight, the crew should have the mobile crane, which will be parked on Second Street, ready.
"Depending on how difficult it is," Pastucha said, the crew should have the stationary crane completely dismantled between 2 and 4 o’clock Tuesday morning.
But then, those pieces have to be hauled away, Pastucha said, which should be done by mid-morning Tuesday.
Once the removal of the stationary crane is finished, the crew can then begin the four-hour-long process of breaking down the mobile crane, he said.
Pastucha anticipates opening up the block to traffic again around 8 p.m. Tuesday evening, assuming everything goes as planned.
While the street closure might be a temporary inconvenience for visitors and residents Downtown, it’s a sign of the project’s progress.
"We're still on schedule on the mid-December opening," said Pastucha, which will mark the end of 10 months of construction.
The overhaul of the City-owned parking structure, which started in February 2012, will double the number of parking spaces from 350 to 700 and add 7,000 square feet of retail space along 2nd Street.
And, Pastucha said, those new parking spaces will be coming online exactly when Downtown Santa Monica needs them most: the holiday shopping season.
"When we closed Parking Structure 6, there was whole lot of rerouting of folks and relocating" shoppers and workers, he said.
The City encouraged much of Downtown Santa Monica’s workforce to find parking at the nearby Civic Center parking structure by offering discounted long-term parking rates at the structure.
New parking rates established by the City Council in July 2012 charged $65 for a monthly pass to park in the Civic Center parking lot, compared to $160 a month for a pass that allows access to all of the parking structures in Downtown and the Civic Center structure.
With Downtown Santa Monica only growing in popularity as a regional destination, Pastucha said that building new parking spaces in only part of the strategy the City has to help coordinate the traffic flow.
Another major strategy includes developing a system of clear signage that directs visitors away from full parking structures to nearby structures that haven’t yet filled up.
Pastucha said that the City recently put out bids for a real-time beach parking system that will help visitors find their way to beach parking lots. The City is planning a similar network of signage for Downtown.
The new parking spaces at Parking Structure 6 will be a great help, though, said Pastucha, adding the 350 spaces that went offline during construction meant that other lots, on the periphery of Downtown started filling up more quickly.
"It will help with the overall parking situation" once the structure is open, he said.
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