Downtown library fix will cost about $1.9 million
BATON ROUGE – It will cost nearly $2 million to sturdy the controversial downtown library following its structural deficiencies found earlier this year.
The city revealed Thursday afternoon, designers and engineers estimate repairs to be about $1.9 million. Repairs to the structural issues will take about five months and engineers believe the entire project would be finished by May 2019.
The details were released Thursday, a week late. The mayor’s office had promised to provide updates on the cost before the Labor Day holiday.
Design firm WHLC said it was negotiating and reviewing the suggestions before making them public.
City officials have vowed not to pay for repairs related to reinforcing the structural design features of the River Center Branch Library. The library is sagging due to two structural connection “separations” where columns meet. The separations were at the top of two of the four large structural trusses holding up the library.
Engineers have determined crews should lift separated structural parts and weld them back in place.
Right now, large red jacks are temporarily pushing back against the sag – holding the building in place.
“Once lifted in place, the remaining remedial work can be performed and inspected. Additional knee bracing, and further roof deck and roof joist inspections will be performed,” architects have said.
After all additional work is complete, the hydraulic jacks will be removed. Once jacks are gone, construction will continue on the project.
WHLC missed the deadline the city announced to release the cost estimate and timeline for work by Friday, August 31.
WBRZ previously reported the city-parish is withholding payments to the architect and city attorneys consider the matter ripe for litigation.
WHLC is confident the repairs will work: “Once complete, the architectural features of the River Center Branch Library project will be as originally designed.”
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