Multiple Downtown SF Skyscrapers Are Causing Entire Area to Slowly Sink

Much media attention has been lavished on the tilting and sinking Millennium Tower, a fix for which remains in the works. But the building’s situation has perhaps brought attention to the fact that heavy buildings clustered in an area atop landfill and bay mud — an area of reclaimed land that was once part of San Francisco Bay — are all collectively causing the ground to compact and sink beneath them.

NBC Bay Area has remained on top of the ever-changing situation at Millennium Tower, where work remains stalled on a $100 million project to shore up two sides of the building and drive new foundation piles down to bedrock — a project that engineers believe will fix the leaning tower’s lean over time. And now they report that a U.S Geological Survey research geophysicist has been studying satellite- and earth-based observations that he says show that multiple buildings in the area are sinking, all due to their own weight.

A certain amount of building settlement is normal and expected, but the Millennium case is one where things are defying the expectations of engineers.