Sinking ground

This picture illustrates the problem city officials say doesn’t worry them much at the newly built $220M Delta Water Supply Project. That’s the left foot of Robert Granberg, project director for the city, resting on the cement, while he stands on the asphalt with his right foot. The cement slab is supported by 70-foot-long piles. The asphalt is not, and the soil there is sinking, so far up to five inches. The question is if it will continue to sink, or if the ground below has stabilized.  The jury is out.

Today’s story explains the polar opposite opinions. The city says there is no threat of an imminent catastrophe, while others fear the worst — the shifting soil will burst a 56-inch pipe and wash out the levee. This report spells out the warring positions of the city and Preston Pipelines.

Fitch in June downgraded the bonds Stockton issued to build the Delta Water Supply Project to junk status. That caused City Hall to bristle, because enterprise funds are separate — and therefore protected — from the city’s general fund, which is the subject of Stockton’s bankruptcy.

The bottom line is if the city will invest in a permanent fix, and who knows what that would cost? Granberg said it wouldn’t be much, but they aren’t going to do it until they see a need.

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