Milwaukee’s City Hall is sinking — and fixing the problem will cost MILLIONS!

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Milwaukee City Hall

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Milwaukee’s City Hall is sinking — and fixing the problem could cost a lot of money!

The expensive news was delivered to Milwaukee’s Public Works Committee on Wednesday, November 12th.

Fixing the north side of City Hall’s foundation will cost an estimated $30 million to $40 million.

Milwaukee’s DPW commissioner cautions the numbers are preliminary.

Engineers say the 119-year-old building’s foundation has settled by two inches on the north side, and about an inch on the south side. This is due to wood foundation pilings deteoriating.

If city officials choose to do nothing, the building will continue to settle and could eventually split.

As FOX6’s Brad Hicks found as he was investigating downtown Milwaukee’s wood pilings, City Hall sits on top of more than 2,000 of these wood pilings which are kept submerged in water. But water levels have fluctuated, and some of those pilings have been exposed to air — leading to decay and the sinking of the building.

A fix would involve drilling new foundation piers that would take over the load from the wood pilings — according to the Milwaukee Business Journal.

Repairs to City Hall in 2008 cost around $76 million.

In February of 2011, a piece of terra cotta fell from the top of the building, and hit a car parked below.

That had the city spending more money to investigate what was causing the building to fall apart, and to make fixes.

The city of Milwaukee filed a lawsuit over damaged terra cotta that named contractor J.P. Cullen & Sons Inc.

CLICK HERE for much more on this story via the Milwaukee Business Journal.

CLICK HERE to take a look at a piece by FOX6’s Brad Hicks on Milwaukee — the sinking city.

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