City Council Meeting: August 23, 2011
Agenda Item: __3-I__
To: Mayor and City Council
From: Martin Pastucha, Director of Public Works
Subject: Mitigated Negative Declaration and Bidding Documents for the Pier Emergency Gangway and Phase 4 Structural Upgrade Project
Staff recommends that the City Council:
The Pier Emergency Gangway is a public safety upgrade to evacuate the western end of the Municipal Pier (Pier) in case of emergency. The project consists of installing a gangway from the southern fishing platform on the Pier to a floating barge. The Phase 4 Structural Upgrade Project replaces a 363 foot long section of the Pier from approximately the high tide line to the concrete section to the west that was constructed in the 1980’s. Additionally, the project involves demolition of the existing timber structure and replacement with concrete piles and pile caps as well as replacing timber stringers and decking to match the existing Pier surface.
The California Environmental Quality Act guidelines require the City to assess the project’s potential impact on the environment. The City prepared an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration that concludes that the proposed project would have no significant impact on the surrounding environment with the incorporation of mitigation measures. The Mitigation Monitoring Reporting Program is designed to ensure compliance with mitigation measures during project implementation. This report recommends that City Council adopt the attached resolution approving the Mitigated Negative Declaration/Mitigation Monitoring Reporting Program and authorize the Director of Public Works to proceed with the development of bidding documents to implement the improvements to the Pier as described in this report.
Previous Council Actions
On April 10, 2007, City Council authorized the City Manager to negotiate and execute a Professional Services Agreement with Moffat & Nichol to complete the Pier Infrastructure Assessment Study. The Pier Infrastructure Assessment Study evaluated the condition of the existing infrastructure and recommended potential upgrades to the Santa Monica Pier. Among the recommended improvements to the Municipal Pier are a series of structural upgrades and the installation of an emergency evacuation gangway.
On June 23, 2009, City Council authorized the City Manager to negotiate and execute a Professional Services Agreement with URS Corporation for design of the Santa Monica Pier Phase 4 Structural Upgrades and Emergency Gangway. To date, URS has performed schematic design work to support the Mitigated Negative Declaration. The Director of Public Works would direct URS to proceed with the development of bidding documents for both the Phase 4 Structural Upgrade and Emergency Gangway upon Council adoption of the resolution approving the Mitigated Negative Declaration.
The structural upgrades to the Santa Monica Pier were undertaken in a phased approach. Phases 1 through 3 were completed from 2004 to 2007 and included the replacement or repair of piles, stringers and deck boards on the Municipal Pier and Newcomb Pier. The proposed Phase 4 project removes and replaces the entire existing timber structure from bent 41 to bent 59 of the Municipal Pier (approximately 360 feet long by 36 feet wide). The existing timber piles and caps would be replaced with concrete and existing timber stringers and decking would be replaced in kind. The construction effort may include a temporary trestle on the north side of the Pier from bent 41 to bent 59 to provide a platform for the contractor’s work. A minimum 15 feet wide pedestrian and emergency vehicle access passageway to the western end of the Pier would be maintained at all times.
The proposed emergency gangway would connect the lower fishing platform along the south side of the Municipal Pier to a 36 feet by 60 feet removable floating barge anchored to the sea floor, which could accommodate approximately 300 people. The gangway is a public safety upgrade to evacuate the western end of the Pier in case of fire or other emergency.
Landmarks Commission Action
The Santa Monica Pier was designated a City of Santa Monica Landmark in 1976. This project must obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Landmarks Commission. Staff will appear before the Landmarks Commission in the fall of 2011 to seek a Certificate of Appropriateness prior to seeking a bid for construction.
A draft Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration was prepared pursuant to Sections 15063(c) and 15070(b) (1) of the California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines to address the potential environmental effects of the improvement elements recommended in the Pier Infrastructure Assessment Study. The Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration identified environmental impacts that would be potentially affected by the project. Areas that were found to have a “less than significant impact” or “no impact” were Aesthetics, Agriculture/Forestry Resources, Air Quality, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Geology/Soils, Hazards/Hazardous Materials, Hydrology/Water Quality, Mineral Resources, Neighborhood Effects, Noise, Population/Housing, Public Services, Recreation, Shadows, and Utilities/Service Systems. Areas that were found to have a “less than significant impact with mitigation incorporated” were Biological Resources, Construction Effects, Cultural Resources, Land Use/Planning, and Transportation/Traffic.
The Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration was circulated for a 30-day public review period from June 17, 2011 to July 18, 2011. Two comments were received on the Draft Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration. The comments and responses to the comments are included in the Final Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration. The Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration concluded that, with the incorporation of proposed mitigation measures, the proposed project would not result in significant impacts. The required mitigation measures are detailed in the Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program, which is included in the Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration and attached to the proposed Resolution.
During the circulation period for the Mitigated Negative Declaration, City staff met with the Landmarks Commission on July 11, 2011 to provide information on the proposed project and environmental approval process. The Landmarks Commission had no comments on the draft Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration.
The next steps in the project include:
1. The final design for both the Gangway and the Phase 4 Structural Upgrades (summer/fall 2011).
2. Obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Landmarks Commission (fall 2011).
3. Assembling the bid documents (fall/winter 2011).
4. Putting the project out to bid (winter 2011/spring 2012).
5. Returning to City Council (spring 2012) for the award of the construction contract and project construction (spring 2012).
Project construction will avoid the summer busy season on the Pier (4th of July to Labor Day) and the construction contract will be structured to avoid impacts during the summer season.
The recommendations presented in this report do not have a budget or financial impact.