New Orleans is sinking; a lot faster than scientists originally thought. With the ground shifting downwards and sea levels continuously rising, the Big Easy may be sitting in the Gulf in as little as ninety years. This spells disaster for many of the historic buildings in the area, as well as other concrete structures. As the Gulf creeps ever inland, the saturated soil just can’t bear the deadweight any longer.
One striking example being the Alario Center which has been host to hundreds of athletic events, graduations, trade shows, concerts, and many other types of celebrations since its foundation in 1999. What once was a shining testimony to the prowess of modern construction now tells a very different story. If one were to place a normal two liter bottle of soda on the uneven floor, it would roll away effortlessly without a single push. Ceiling tiles have begun popping loose and many doors no longer fit correctly in their warped and distorted frames. The Alario building’s assistant general manager Michael Samardzija said, “I can measure it by how many quarters I can stick into it at one time,” in reference to the many zigzagging cracks in the walls where the brick has come away from the mortar.
The historic town’s residents are also experiencing that ‘sinking feeling.’ Many have concrete patios, walkways, and driveways which have begun to dip and sink into the soft earth. Even more worrisome is the slow sinking of residence’s home foundations. The slow pull downward and eventual un-leveling can cause major damage in homes, as well as cracking and deterioration of concrete walkways and other surfaces.
Many concrete repair contractors from the area have said, in so many words, they aren’t too thrilled about the wide expanse of tasks which lay ahead of them in the coming years. With many homes being closed down and bulldozed, contractors will have to come in to remove the unusable foundations. Others are optimistic; new steps are being taken to help preserve the ground in New Orleans. Researcher’s hope that new building and plating techniques will slow the sinking rate of the soil, hopefully buying one of the nation’s biggest partying hot spots a little more time.
If you would like to know more about the repair and removal of concrete in the New Orleans area, feel free to contact us at our website.