Repairs to stop a 58-story San Francisco luxury building from sinking instead made it sink more



The Millennium Tower is seen in San Francisco, California Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021.

The Millennium Tower is seen in San Francisco, California, on Aug. 25, 2021. Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

  • Repairs to stop the 58-story Millennium Tower in San Francisco from sinking instead made it worse.

  • The issue could have been avoided if construction was halted sooner, according to multiple reports.

  • The luxury condo skyscraper is currently tilting about 22 inches toward its northwest corner.

Repairs to stop the 58-story Millennium Tower in San Francisco from sinking instead made it sink even more.

Since opening in 2009, the $350-million Millennium Tower had already sunk 17 inches when the construction paused in late August after engineers determined the building had sunk another inch despite attempts to strengthen the foundation, Insider previously reported.

Now, the luxury condo skyscraper is tilting about 22 inches to the northwest, SFGate reported on Thursday.

Robert Pyke, a geotechnical engineer, told local news station KPIX that the $100 million project to fix the sinking should have been stopped long before it was halted in August.

millennium tower residents

Residents stand inside their home on the 42nd floor of the Millennium Tower in San Francisco. AP/Eric Risberg

Engineer logs and internal emails obtained by the local CBS affiliate, and verified by Pyke, showed that accelerated sinking of the building started in May, but construction carried on.

The project’s lead engineer, Ron Hamburger, told the news station in a statement that they could have avoided further sinking and tilting if they’d paused construction sooner.

“While some of the settlement and tilting that has occurred in recent months could have been avoided by halting construction earlier, neither the building’s safety or functionality have been affected and the project team gathered valuable information on the causes of this settlement as construction progressed,” Hamburger told WPIX in a statement.

Hundreds of concerned residents sued the developers and designers of the skyscraper in 2016. While studies reported the building showed “no evidence of life-safety concerns,” people expressed worry about the potential damage an earthquake could have on the tower.

millennium tower san francisco sinking

This Sept. 26, 2016 file photo shows the Millennium Tower in San Francisco. Eric Risberg/AP

A settlement was finalized last year, leading to “very significant” payouts to condo owners and a plan to drill “52 concrete piles down to the bedrock” in order to stabilize the building, The San Francisco Examiner reported at the time.

But after months of work, the building still sunk further, leading to the halt to repairs.

The high-rise, which was first proposed in 2002 and later built in 2005, managed to sell $100 million worth of condos priced from $1.6 million to $10 million in only five weeks.

Construction on the building partially resumed this week, SFGate reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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