A panel of engineering experts on Monday signed off on a $100 million plan to prop up San Francisco’s Millennium Tower, the luxury high-rise that has sunk 18 inches over the last decade.
The plan – to be guaranteed by the developer of the building – involves the installation of 52 piles along two sides of the building, on Fremont and Mission streets, that would root the foundation to bedrock.
The tower has sunk and tilted, experts say, because it is not currently tied to bedrock and has been sinking unevenly as water has been removed from the ground to allow for nearby construction. The sinking appears to have stopped in the last year, but experts caution it may resume at any time.
The tower’s Homeowners Association hailed the panel’s findings as a “critical step” in validating the pile plan, which comes as the building is mired in a long war over who is to blame for the problem.
In a memo to the head of San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection, the four member panel said its comments on the “perimeter pile upgrade” proposal have “adequately addressed” and, as a result, “we see no reason to withhold approval of the building permit.”
The necessary environmental review is expected to be done by year’s end.