San Francisco’s Millennium Tower, which continues to sink despite multi-million dollar efforts to remedy it, has experienced a new problem.
The luxury tower, popular with star athletes and retired Google employees before the tilt issues became widely publicized, has sunk 18 inches since its construction was completed in 2009, and has a 26-inch tilt at the top. The engineer overseeing the tower’s renovation said the movement caused a one-inch gap to form between the building and an adjacent smaller 12-story structure.
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project engineer Ron Hamburger said in a statement to NBC Bay Area.
Given the current westward tilt of the building, about 24 inches measured at the roof level, the gap between the two buildings in the east-west direction has widened by about 1 inch (2.5 cm),
The Millennium Tower uses underground parking housed in the smaller structure.
Despite the gap, engineers “have determined that the building is not at risk due to this movement, or any other movement that may occur prior to the completion of construction,” Hamburger said, and the gap is not expected to get worse. He has previously warned that the tower’s elevators and plumbing may no longer function if the subsidence continues at the current rate.
Engineers are working on a leveling of the building and plan to install 18 steel piles down to bedrock to relieve pressure on the foundation, stop the tilting and sinking of the tower and possibly reverse some of the movement.
Once the voluntary leveling is complete, the settlement of the building at the northwest corner will be stopped, some rebound will occur, and some additional minor settlement of the remainder of the main tower will reverse the tilting that has occurred and close the gap between the elevator sills of the adjacent podium building that connects the main and mid-tower,Hamburger told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Previous efforts to strengthen the downtown tower’s foundation were halted last summer when engineers found the building had sunk an inch in the months following repair attempts.