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Port of San Francisco, US Army Corps of Engineers plan to raise landmark Ferry Building due to rising sea levels

Ambitious engineering project will raise San Francisco Ferry Building seven feet
Ambitious engineering project will raise San Francisco Ferry Building seven feet 06:11

SAN FRANCISCO — The Port of San Francisco and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are planning on raising the iconic, historic Ferry Building by as much as seven feet.

The daring plan is an attempt to combat the impacts of sea level rise and extreme weather, both triggered by the climate change, and our warming planet.

How the SF Ferry Building will be raised 02:31

"We're already seeing flooding on the Embarcadero. We know that the Bay is rising; we know that it will continue to rise", explained Port of San Francisco Director Elaine Forbes.

Earlier this year, according to the United Nation-backed International Panel of Climate Change or IPCC for short, the planet is rapidly approaching a catastrophic threshold of heating. NOAA is tracking the melting of glaciers and ice sheets, as well as the rising ocean waters.

"Humanity is on thin ice, and that ice is melting fast," said Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres in a recent address.

Port of San Francisco officials have held a series of public meetings with stakeholders along the 7.5 miles of bay coastline under the Port's control. One neighborhood includes the Ferry Building.

Behind the Scenes footage of the SF Ferry Building raising project on the KPIX virtual reality set 00:15

The feedback was clear: those who work and/or live along the Embarcadero waterfront want to see the landmark Ferry Building remain on site and functioning. Currently, it is home to six ferry piers, used by millions of commuters and tourists each year. The Ferry Building also houses 44 different shops and restaurants as well as a world-famous Farmer's Market.

And less known, it's 2nd and 3rd floors have 190,000 square feet of offices and meeting spaces.

Port Engineer and member of the Water Resilience Team Steve Reel joined Juliette Goodrich in the CBS News Bay Area Virtual Set and in an exclusive report, demonstrated on how the Port and the U.S. Corps of Engineers are planning on raising the huge landmark.

The project will break ground in about a decade. The U.S. Corps will pick up 65% of the cost.

San Francisco's Prop A -- which was passed by 82.7% of voters in 2018 -- authorized $425 million general obligation bonds that will partially fund the Waterfront Resilience Program. That includes funding improvements for earthquake safety of the three-mile long Embarcadero Seawall, near-term flood protection improvements, and planning for other long-term resilience.  

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