City of Eureka Emergency Earthquake Damage Structural Assessment, Repair Designs, and Construction Support

In January 2010, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 struck off the coast of Humboldt County, California, and many buildings were damaged. LACO’s engineers were on-site the same day, volunteering their time on a Sunday to respond to the emergency and assess the damage.

The City of Eureka subsequently retained us to provide the following services:

  • Damage assessment
  • Design of repairs and structural engineering
  • Cost estimate preparation
  • Preparation and submittal of funding applications to the California Emergency Management Agency
  • Plan Check coordination
  • Permitting coordination
  • Bidding assistance
  • Construction management
  • Materials testing
  • Special inspections during construction

Our team performed emergency assesessments of the following structures for the City:

  • Eureka Municipal Auditorium – The City temporarily restricted access to this building based on our recommendation. To rehabilitate the building, we designed a repair and seismic retrofit of the pre-1900’s portion of the building, comprised of wood-framed shearwalls, floor and roof diaphragm retrofits, structural steel eccentrically-braced frames, and structural connection improvements throughout.
  • Eureka Fire Headquarters – LACO was able to clear the building for continued use as an emergency response center in the aftermath of the earthquake. To address structural deficiencies revealed by the minor earthquake damage, we designed a seismic retrofit for the building comprised of additional wood shear walls, strengthened wood diaphragms, and upgraded structural connections throughout the building.
  • Water Sewer Repair Shop – This concrete-masonry building was heavily damaged during the earthquake. Based on our recommendation, the City restricted access to the building and relocated staff to temporary office trailers. Our project team performed a feasibility assessment for repairs to the building, and provided a design for a desirable alternative – replacement of the damaged masonry building with a pre-fabricated steel building. Because we provided a design solution that allowed the City to re-use the existing foundation, the City was able to avoid the costly installation of a new pile-supported foundation for the 5,000-square-foot building.
  • Dock Facilities – LACO inspected the City’s Dock-B facility the day of the earthquake, and restricted access to foot-traffic based on large lateral displacements of the dock relative to the adjacent, paved access road. Later in the week, our project team inspected the rest of the City’s waterfront facilities by boat and cleared them for continued use by the public.

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