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Booming San Francisco takes unprecedented step to target earthquake-vulnerable high-rise towers

October 5, 2018

: latimes – excerpt


All buildings and streets look the same in our new Urban environment photo by Zrants

For all the tech wealth that has flown into this city in recent years, it’s also an unnerving time for city builders.

First, a centerpiece of San Francisco’s new downtown, the 58-story Millennium Tower, started sinking and tilting. Then last week, the city’s new $2.26-billion transbay bus station was abruptly shut after cracks were found in two steel beams. Both events have fueled anxiety about how San Francisco’s growing skyline would hold up in the kind of major quake that destroyed much of the city in 1906.

So on Thursday, the city opened up a new front on California’s seismic safety, releasing an unprecedented list of more than 150 of its tallest buildings, including many constructed before modern seismic codes.

The inventory is the first step in an assessment of the city’s skyline with an eye toward making costly fixes to towers that could collapse amid major shaking. Officials are also calling for rules for new construction, aimed at preventing unanticipated sinking of buildings as well as making tall buildings even stronger to resist wobbling in an earthquake…(more)

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