Report: LA County’s Busiest Courthouses Most Seismically Unsafe

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — More than 140 courthouses across California were found to be seismically unsafe, raising the risk of a substantial loss of life in case of a major earthquake.

In a major earthquake, 145 courthouses could sustain “substantial” structural damage, “extensive” non-structural damage and “substantial” risk to life, according to a study presented to a committee of the state Judicial Council.

Glendale Superior and Municipal Courthouse, which was built in 1956, was given a seismic risk rating of 44.2, the highest in the state. It’s among a dozen facilities considered very high risk.

Other very high-risk court facilities in Los Angeles County include the west and east wings of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse and the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center, both in downtown Los Angeles – the two most heavily-trafficked courthouses in the county.

Beverly Hills, Burbank, Pasadena, Lancaster, Alhambra, Newhall, Norwalk, Van Nuys, and Santa Monica also landed in the high-risk range.

In Orange County, courthouses in Santa Ana, Fullerton and Orange were also rated high-risk.

Retrofitting the dozen very-high-risk courthouses would cost as much as $400 million, according to the study. Including the 44 high-risk facilities would increase that estimate to as much as $1.7 billion.

State lawmakers took away a $1.4 billion court construction fund raised by court fees and fines to spend on other priorities during the recession.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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