COOS BAY, Ore. — Coos Bay residents may not be getting that sinking feeling, but a few downtown buildings are starting to droop.
The World newspaper of Coos Bay reports that buildings such as the public library and Egyptian Theatre are starting to lose ground and the problem can be traced to the wood pilings below ground that hold their foundations in place.
City Operations Superintendent Randy Dixon said the wood pilings were put in decades ago to stabilize buildings. The practice didn’t change until the mid-1970s, when earthquakes in California triggered a change in building codes that led to concrete pilings.
Coos Bay’s situation is not unique. Virtually any city built on wooden pilings — from Boston to Milwaukee to San Francisco — has seen some signs of sinking.