San Francisco’s luxury high-rise condo tower has received plenty of bad news recently and the building and its developers are entwined in plenty of lawsuits. Since the Millennium Tower’s grand opening in 2009, the building has sunk around 16 inches and is even tilting several inches to the northwest. This news has residents worried that their home is valueless and has fingers being pointed every which way. Recently released satellite images show that the situation may not be getting better, either.
The European Space Agency has released several images from their Sentinel-1 satellites that have been monitoring subtle surface changes in the San Francisco area. By combining multiple radar scans, the scientists are able to measure the changes down to millimeters. The Sentinel-1 is currently orbiting the earth about 400 miles (700km) above earth and records data every 24 days.
According to ABC News, engineers have been estimating that the Millennium Tower has been sinking at a rate of about 1 inch per year (25mm), but the satellite imagery has shown that it’s sinking at around 1.6 inches per year (40mm) and it hasn’t stopped. Although the building is now 7 years old, in the 17 month period of April 2015 to September, ABC News reports that the satellites have shown a drop of 2.6 to 2.9 inches (70 to 75mm), even though residents have been told by developers that the sinking was slowing down.
The developers are still placing their blame on the nearby Transbay Joint Powers Authority project, but they contend that the developer is at fault for not providing an adequate foundation to reach the bedrock. Recently, the City of San Francisco piled onto the developer and filed its own lawsuit against them, in order to search for more answers. We’ll continue to update our readers on the latest news surrounding the tower and the resolutions of the lawsuits.
Full story: Leaning San Francisco Tower Seen Sinking From Space | ABC News