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Extra support for 1st Night event closes car park

Extra support for First Night event closes car park

The First Night„¥ event in Aotea Square on New Year¡¦s Eve is expected to attract such a crowd that the Civic car park underneath will need to be closed for a week so the roof can be bolstered for the temporary extra weight.

Throughout the course of the evening, an estimated 35,000 people will enjoy the free First Night„¥ festivities, which include indoor and outdoor stages with music and entertainment for all ages.

Auckland City Council engineers advised yesterday that the maximum loadings around Aotea Square needed to be reduced to minimise pressure on the underlying roof of the Civic car park. As a result, Auckland City met with event organisers THE EDGE„¥ this morning to discuss ways the event could be run without exceeding the loading limits.

The council¡¦s Acting Director of Finance Robert Nelson says they have decided to ensure the event can run without restrictions by bolstering the car park underneath with steel ¡¥Acrow props¡¦.

¡§Our engineers have told us that we need to reduce the long-term pressure on the car park roof and we¡¦ll be addressing this in more detail early in the new year,¡¨ says Mr Nelson. ¡§Meantime this temporary solution means Aucklanders can still enjoy this spectacular free event and others planned for the square in 2005.¡¨

Chief Executive of THE EDGE„¥ Greg Innes says the event, in its fifth year, has become an Auckland institution and he¡¦s delighted it is able to continue.

¡§As with any venue with an underground component we¡¦ve got weight limits we have to abide by,¡¨ he says. ¡§Auckland City has gone the extra mile to ensure this event can happen. We are working closely to ensure there is a long-term solution that will address the needs of future events in the Aotea precinct.¡¨

The area of the car park that will receive extra support is under the grassed area beside Auckland Town Hall.

¡§Some supporting beams in this area are showing evidence of the heavy loads from major events in recent years,¡§ according to Mr Nelson. ¡§The council is taking a cautious approach to preserve the structure of the car park.¡¨

It is likely that the car park will need to be closed for approximately one week, beginning Monday 27 December. The car park entrance will be sign posted and will refer drivers to the nearby Victoria Street car park.

For updates on the Civic car park closure please call 379 2020.

© Scoop Media

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