Engineers in San Francisco can’t seem to agree why the city’s Millennium Tower, a largely residential building, is sinking and doing so at a steady rate to boot. The 58-story skyscraper has reportedly sunk 16 inches since it opened in 2009. Things have gotten so bad that the building is also referred to the Leaning Tower of San Francisco, for the structure leans two inches in a northwesterly direction.
Some officials are blaming an inadequate foundation for the phenomenon while others point the finger at the construction of a nearby railway station. But arguments won’t fix the problem, which needs to be addressed before too long. The European Space Agency revealed, as reported by Fox News, how the building is descending at a rate of 1-inch per year. More startling is that, during a 17-month observation period, the Millennium Tower sunk approximately 2.6 to 2.9 inches, as discovered by PPO Labs.
Despite data showing the building losing a few inches, PJ Johnston (a spokesperson for the building’s developer, Millennium Partners) told Fox News that the building is safe for occupancy and could even withstand an earthquake. But the situation quickly turned into a war of words, as Johnston mentioned the railway station, and San Francisco’s Transbay Joint Powers Authority brought up the foundation argument.
To help combat the issues, the building hired engineers to drill holes to test soil samples to determine if the sinking has subsided. But tenants, including Jerry Dodson, said the developers reassured them the sinking had stopped. Now, he’s not so sure of that, saying “To have the space agency looking at it debunks what (developers) have put out there. Now we know it’s continuing to sink at an accelerated rate, I can tell you that satellite data is way more accurate that digging in the dirt.”
(Via Fox News)