Santa Monica City Hall (File photo)

City Council is set to approve a $3.8 million upgrade to the guardrails of three downtown Santa Monica parking structures.

City spokesperson Constance Farrell said the project is a continuation of a parking structure upgrade project that began in 2016. Staff said the guardrails in Parking Structures 1, 2, 4 and 5 were installed more than 50 years ago and no longer comply with current building code standards, which has narrowed the allowable spacing between railings and barrier cables.

Farrell said the project will narrow the space between the barrier cables and increase the height of some of them.

City Council will approve the upgrades three weeks after a sixth person took or attempted to take their own lives in one of the city’s parking structures.

The most recent suicide occurred when a 53-year-old man named Karim Hassibe jumped from Parking Structure 2 earlier this month. Last September, police talked an individual down from Parking Structure 3, and a 49-year-old man named Brad Bolton took his own life last August by jumping from Parking Structure 2.

Other suicides over the past year and a half occurred in structures 7 and 4.

The project as originally proposed would have upgraded the guardrails in all four structures, but staff recommends removing Parking Structure 2 to keep the cost of the project under the available budget of $4.2 million.

The project would also include stormwater management improvements to the roof of Parking Structure 5 to prevent it from flooding.

While the construction cost would be $3.8 million, the city will also pay almost $600,000 for structural inspections of the parking structures.

“Parking structures are unique and have large spans with relatively thin slabs that support a variety of heavy vehicles,” staff said. “This means that special consideration is required when making repairs.”

City staff would provide construction management and public outreach for the project, which would include notifications posted in the parking structures and notices distributed to adjacent properties detailing the scope of the project, potential impacts, schedule and construction manager contact information.

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