PALM SPRINGS — Out of an abundance of caution, the Belardo Parking Structure, which houses an estimated 600 parking spaces, is being reinforced with steel beams to avoid a worst-case-scenario collapse.

“We had a concern on the underground bridge/street – its part of the ‘public improvements’ which was done by Grit Development,” City Manager David H.. Ready told Uken Report.  “Out of caution, we closed that section of the road, until the structural engineers finalize their analysis.  In addition, the temporary supports are to provide additional security.  Any formal repair requirements will be the responsibility of Grit – we do not have any cost estimate at this time. ”

There is nothing wrong with the design of the structure, which was built in the mid-1980s, Octavio Fernandez, vice president of Grit, told Uken Report. But there are some “spider cracks.”  They are also known as crazing cracks.

Crazing cracks are very fine, surface cracks that resemble spider webs or shattered glass. When the top of a concrete slab loses moisture too quickly, crazing cracks will likely appear. While unsightly, crazing cracks are not a structural concern.

Crusting cracks typically happen during the concrete stamping process, which is a way of adding texture or pattern to concrete surfaces. On sunny or windy days where the top of the slab dries out quicker than the bottom, the top of the concrete surface can become crusty. When the stamp is embedded, it pulls the surface apart near the stamped joints and causes small cracks around the outside edges of the “stones”. Again, while they don’t look great, crusting cracks are not a structural issue to be considered about.

It’s often difficult to determine exactly what caused a particular crack. Proper site preparation, a quality mix, and good concrete finishing practices can go a long way towards minimizing the appearance of cracks and producing a more aesthetically pleasing concrete project.

In a worst-case scenario of an 8.0 earthquake in which two firetrucks were called to the parking structure, it “would fall,” Fernandez said.

Steel beams will be installed to reinforce the structure. Work is expected to be completed in four to eight weeks. The bulk of that time will simply waiting for the materials.

Meantime, Braun said none of the free parking spaces has been affected.

Image Sources

  • Parrking-5: Cindy Uken