Infrastructure
3:15 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Coos Bay Library Is Sinking

The Coos Bay Library is slowly sinking. Tuesday, the City Council heard presentations from firms hired to evaluate the structural integrity of the building.

Credit The City of Coos Bay

Like many buildings in downtown Coos Bay, the library was built using pilings on soft "bay mud." After years of adding books and a new addition in 1998, signs of settling are evident. The City contracted with two consulting firms to perform geotechnical and structural investigations on the library. Coos Bay Mayor Crystal Shoji says the pilings holding the building up are half as tall as they need to be.

Shoji: "They think it will cost about 6.5 million. So their initial recommendation is that we not repair it, but that we build a new library. So, we haven't worked that out yet, the council hasn't reviewed that or the library board. We are just at the initial stages and we are going to try and figure out what is best for the community."

Shoji says many parts of downtown Coos Bay are built on fill dirt. Part of Tuesday's presentation questioned whether the library could hold-up during an earthquake or tsunami.

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