The City Council is expected tonight to allow people to park overnight in South Beach Lots 4 and 5 as part of the Los Angeles Marathon festivities. Those looking to park there can do so for one night for $17. The marathon is secheduled for March 21. (photo by Brandon Wise)

Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing series that tracks the city’s expenditures appearing on upcoming Santa Monica City Council consent agendas. Consent agenda items are routinely passed by the City Council with little or no discussion from elected officials or the public. However, many of the items have been part of public discussion in the past.

CITY HALL — It’s expected to be five years before Expo light rail cars are traveling down Colorado Avenue as part of system linking Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles.

But City Hall is already starting on plans to reorganize the street around the future rail line.

Tonight, the City Council will be asked to approve $368,000 for preliminary plans to integrate the light rail project into the existing infrastructure.

The funding would pay for a consultant, Cityworks Design, to create a design for Colorado Avenue that is in-line with City Hall’s vision of an attractive and user-friendly streetscape.

Under the contract Cityworks Design would be charged with deciding where to put parking lots, how to best accommodate pedestrians and the disabled once the rail line is built, and how to relocate utilities equipment that is displaced by the rail.

City Hall received 22 bids for the contract and interviewed seven firms before deciding to recommend Cityworks for the job.

The proposed contract is part of a nearly $600,000 spending package the council is expected to approve tonight.

The council is also being asked to sign off on a plan to demolish the building located at 1324 5th St. that once served as the interim library but has been vacant since 2005.

The building is in “an extreme state of deterioration and has a toxic interior environment consisting of asbestos, lead, mercury and dangerous levels of molds and fungus,” according to a city staff report.

The toxins must be abated before the building contents may be removed and the structure can be demolished, the report said.

City staff recommends awarding the $231,000 contract to knock down the structure and resurface the 7,500 square-foot area as a parking lot to AMPCO Contracting.

The council is also expected to approve a parking arrangement Tuesday night aimed at better accommodating the 25,000 runners who are expected to participate in the Los Angeles Marathon this year. The race, to be held March 21, has been re-routed to conclude at the Santa Monica Pier for the first time.

The proposed resolution on Tuesday’s agenda would allow 5,000 cars to park overnight on March 20 in South Beach Lots 4 and 5. The estimated cost of keeping the lots open overnight is expected to be offset by charging $17 for the privilege to park there, a City Hall report said.

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