Milwaukee City Hall’s north side requires its foundation to be fixed, and the estimated cost is between $30 million to $40 million with an estimate dates of 2016 and 2017.
The figures are preliminary, and will likely change once foundation repair consultants define they project’s plans, according to Milwaukee Department of Public Works commissioner. Other phases of the projects are also expected.
The proposed plan was introduced to the Milwaukee’s Public Works Committee back in November 2014. One of the items that was also discussed was to let the 119-year-old building’s wood foundation pilings continue to deteriorate. Since 1986, City Hall settle up to 2 inches, which supports the bell tower. If the building’s foundation isn’t fix, it will continue to settle unevenly, which will eventually lead to the building leaning, which could possibly begin to split in other places, according to Milwaukee Department of Public Works commissioner
Since they soil is in mushy conditions, City Hall is on top of about 2,500 wood piles, which are placed in a submerged manner within water, so it can be preserved. But as water levels below City Hall have fluctuated, some pilings were exposed to air, got fungal rot and decayed, leading to the settling, said Kevin Johnson, Milwaukee’s owners representative on the foundation project.
The northern side of City Hall is in worst conditions, which has been place in first priority n the proposal that was submitted back in November 2014. In order to repair the foundation in City Hall, drilling of new foundation piers will have to be done that, through other work on the foundation, will acquire the load from the wood pilings. The wood pilings will remain in place with the propose plans. The plan is to keep City Hall open as normal, which the project’s noisy, and disruptive work will be done in the evenings after business hours, Johnson said.
The budget allocated for the foundation repair is set at $1.2 million in 2014 to begin engineering and other planning for the construction, which is to start in 2016 on City Hall’s northwestern corner. The northeastern corner will begin in 2017. A project timeline hasn’t been set yet for the repairs of the remaining sections of the building.