Wellington Railway Station being strengthened

Work to strengthen Wellington Railway Station's earthquake-prone main entranceway atrium ceiling will begin next Monday.

KiwiRail chief executive Peter Reidy said internal scaffolding would be erected in the high atrium to provide temporary support for the ceiling.

The problem area specifically requiring attention involves the roof support system just inside the main railway station entrance off Bunny St.

The ceiling above the concourse, which leads out to the station's platforms and houses the ticket offices, does not require earthquake strengthening.

''While the scaffolding will be prominent, there will still be full access for staff and the public...most of the work won't even be visible as it will take place in the ceiling space above,'' Reidy said.

The station is heritage listed.

''Renovation work will also be done on the station clock which towers over the front of the station. This will be the first work on that part of the building since 1930,'' Reidy said.

Most of the building is at 50 per cent or more of the new building standard for public buildings.

A detailed engineering assessment of the building undertaken last year revealed work was needed to upgrade the main atrium entranceway ceiling as it had been assessed as 'earthquake prone.'

Preparation for this work had also uncovered asbestos roofing and dust within the ceiling which will also require removal.

By technical engineering and legal definition, until the proposed work is completed about the end of the year the building is considered to be 'earthquake prone.'

Once the atrium work is completed the building will no longer be 'earthquake prone.'

The Dominion Post