Is the Millennium Tower Still Falling?

By Wyatt Carvalho

Back in 2015, the developers of the Millennium Tower disclosed to the authorities that the tower had started tilting, from it sinking on one side. The public was notified in 2016, and no permanent solution was proposed until 2018. In 2018, the senior principal engineer for Simpsons Gumpertz and Heger, Ronald Hamburger, proposed the final solution, planning to fix around 50% of the tilt in the next 10 years. It has an apparent lean of 10 inches since its start.

Recently, a resident of the building performed an experiment in which they rolled a ball upward, towards the corner of the unit. Each time, it continued to roll downwards towards the northwest corner. Harry Poulos, an internationally recognized tall building foundations expert, stated that “No building should really have that sort of tilt, not a modern building of this nature.” Poulos also stated that “If I was a resident, I would be worried that I can’t put something on the table without it rolling it off.” 

Supposedly, the new plan to fix it will tilt the tower 2 feet in the northwest corner. The plan is to support the building by “…transferring a portion of the building’s weight to bedrock. Recovery of some of the tilt that has already occurred is a secondary benefit, not a primary objective.” stated Hamburger. While critics still fear how it still can fail, and potentially cause millions in property damage the plan has been reaffirmed to work. It seems that the overall fix will help 4.5 inches of the 10 inches that have occurred.

Many residents show concern, and are still coming to terms that the tower will forever stay leaning, even 8 years after the initial discovery.

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