LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- The already closed Buchanan Parking is now a safety hazard, Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory said.
The concrete panels affixed to the Buchanan Street Parking Garage, weighing two and a half tons each, are at risk of falling, the mayor-president’s administration said in a statement Monday.
A March 4 assessment of the 40-year-old structure completed by Huval and Associates determined that “emergency measures are required to ensure the safety of Lafayette Parish pedestrians and motorists.”
According to a Lafayette Consolidated Government engineering official who reviewed the assessment, the metal clips that secure the concrete panels to the exterior of the structure have deteriorated to the point where they “no longer represent an adequate level of safety against failure which would result in dislodgement of the panels,” the administration’s statement said.
Because the downtown area is heavily trafficked by pedestrians and motorists, barricades will be placed around the parking garage on March 9.
A declaration has been filed with the Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court deeming the Buchanan Street Garage and perimeter around the structure as a local emergency, requiring immediate action to minimize the threat to public safety.
Guillory said he has called an emergency meeting of the Lafayette Parish Council to release the necessary funds to remove the panels.
The meeting will be held Monday, March 9 at 2 p.m. in the Lafayette Council Auditorium.
“Given the urgency of this situation, our priority is the safety of our citizens, and we will do everything possible to reduce the danger and minimize the cost to taxpayers,” Guillory said in a statement. “I will work with the Lafayette Parish Council to see that this issue is resolved as quickly as possible.”