The $100 million retrofit project – partially paid for by taxpayers as part of a resolution of litigation – was supposed to keep the building from sinking and tilting more and stabilize property values. But since work began on installing support piles in May of last year, the problems have gotten worse, not better. To stem the damage, engineers opted to cut the number of new foundation support piles from 52 to 18.
While the city has yet to sign off on that scaled back plan, new problems emerged when engineers began the digging needed to construct underground shoring walls to allow the foundation to be extended. Monitoring data showed the tower had listed another 2.75 inches west, toward Fremont Street, in just the first half of the year – and the building’s tilting hastened in May when digging began for the underground wall on Fremont Street.