Cracks in SF's Leaning Tower Are 'Breathtaking'

And there's no fix in sight for the Millennium Tower
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2017 10:30 AM CST
Updated Nov 12, 2017 10:03 AM CST
With No Fix in Sight, SF Tower Keeps Leaning
Stress gauges are seen along a wall with floor-to-ceiling cracks in the parking garage of the Millennium Tower in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

San Francisco's 58-story Millennium Tower has sunk 17 inches and tilted 14 inches to the northwest since building started in 2006, reports 60 Minutes. It's a well-publicized fact thanks to numerous lawsuits from residents, including Joe Montana. Yet it makes the latest sign of its flaws no less "breathtaking," per the San Francisco Chronicle. Footage aired Sunday on 60 Minutes shows numerous cracks in the skyscraper's basement, accompanied by stress gauges that measure their growth. Though Curbed notes the tower passed a review of its seismic integrity in July, "there's enough of them, a spiderweb of cracks, that you have [to] be concerned about what's going on underneath," says Jerry Dodson, an engineer and lawyer who owns a condo on the Millennium Tower's 42nd floor.

Since developer Millennium Partners notified residents of the faults in 2016, some say they've moved out, selling their condos at losses in the millions; others are still waiting for a fix. The most likely one would involve securing the tower, built on a foundation 80 feet deep in sand, into bedrock, per the Chronicle. But it's not clear who would hand over up to $150 million necessary for the fix. In addition to lawsuits from residents, Millennium Partners is currently involved in litigation with the nearby Transbay Terminal, which it blames for causing the land beneath the tower to sink. Transbay officials say the tower—which is sinking 1.5 to 2 inches per year, according to one estimate—had already sunk 10 inches before construction on the terminal began, per 60 Minutes. (More Millennium Tower stories.)

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