A big crane is now in Wellington to start taking down a quake-weakened lift tower in the central city.
The tower in Lukes Lane was damaged in the 6.5 magnitude earthquake on July 21, and took another hit during Friday's 6.6 jolt.
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the structure had been declared a dangerous building and needed to be demolished swiftly.
Some lift machinery was removed during the weekend, but most of the work had to wait for the arrival of a crane capable of lifting a 30-tonne slab of concrete. That help arrived yesterday, after a long trip from Temuka. The crane had to be split up and taken by road over the Lewis Pass and via Murchison to Picton, because State Highway 1 was closed around Seddon. It was then brought across Cook Strait on the BlueBridge ferry, carried by 10 trucks.
Smith Crane & Construction managing director Tim Smith said crews would work most of the night to assemble the crane. It was hoped to start demolition this morning.
The crane was involved in post-quake demolition and construction work in Christchurch, and also used in the salvage of the Rena wreck.
Mr Smith said it was good to be able to offer a hand to Wellington. Security guards in Lukes Lane had to contend with parking wardens ticketing their vehicles at the weekend. A Wellington City Council spokesman said the treatment was "unfair", and it would tell its contractors to "lay off" the guards.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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