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Since 2005, the City of Santa Barbara has leveraged Watry Design’s expertise to perform condition assessment studies with the goal of extending the life of their parking investments and assisting with citywide maintenance budgeting.

Over the years, the team has conducted site visits for the City’s five public parking structures, the Amtrack Depot and REA Buildings, as well as eight surface lots with the purpose of identifying safety and maintenance concerns and providing recommendations and projected budgets for the proposed repairs.

For each report, the team has met with staff, prepared calculations and cost estimates and formulated findings. Structural, functional, waterproofing and life-safety issues were identified and recommendations were made for short, mid and long term interventions. Repairs were ranked according to their urgency using the following categories: 

  • Immediate importance (1-3 years)
  • Moderate importance (4-6 years)
  • Low importance (7-10 years)
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The firm has also prepared construction documents and provided construction administration services for retrofits, including:

  • Strengthening of the existing columns and girders with a Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) system.
  • Alterations for ADA accessibility, such as reconstruction of interior sidewalks to create ramps and re-striping to create additional handicapped stalls.
  • Design for adding cable rails to address safety concerns for openings and balconies found within 2 structures.

Watry Design has worked with City personnel to evaluate the impacts of construction on the daily and seasonal operations of the parking structures in the busy downtown area. The team has also assisted with community outreach efforts to local merchants who were affected by the repair construction and provided construction administrative services

For the most recent assessment, the City wished to develop a 10 year capital improvement plan that would help budget not only for ongoing maintenance, but also the eventual replacement of aged structures. Watry Design worked with Tourney Consulting Group to assess the structural condition of the concrete by analyzing concrete cores taken from the parking structures, known as destructive testing, in order to evaluate their remaining lifespans.

After analyzing chlorides in the concrete, which is an accurate indicator of rebar deterioration, it was determined that one of the structures was approaching the end of its lifespan. Watry Design provided estimates for replacement costs as part of the report, allowing the City to factor replacement into their capital improvement plan.

Project Details

  • Owner: City of Santa Barbara
  • Project Status: In Progress