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Earthquake cordons reduced across city

Earthquake cordons reduced across city

Fences and barriers are being pulled-back from roads around the city today as repairs and removals progress on earthquake-damaged buildings.

Colombo Street in Sydenham is being restored to two-way traffic this week and fences at the south of the 160 Manchester Street demolition cordon were pulled-back this morning, returning access to some shops and apartments.

Council's Unit Manager Environmental Policy and Approvals Steve McCarthy says staff have been working closely with the owners of earthquake-damaged buildings to assist them in making necessary repairs or removals so that safety cordons can be removed. The Council's Building Recovery Office can fast-track earthquake related consent applications and assist building owners.

"Cordons, such as fences, barriers and containers, around earthquake damaged buildings are necessary to protect public safety. However, we understand the impact this has on surrounding businesses and traffic and the Council is eager to see them removed as quickly as it is safe to do so."

Colombo Street returns to two-way at Sydenham

Two-way traffic is being restored to Colombo Street in Sydenham by the weekend. It is expected that Wordsworth Street will also be open to traffic by the end of the day tomorrow (Friday 26 November).

Fences and barriers have been in place in the area since the earthquake to protect pedestrians and motorists from potentially dangerous buildings. The unique group of largely brick buildings in Sydenham suffered extensive damage during the earthquake.

The Council has been working with the building owners over past months to help them make the repairs or removals necessary to allow the safety cordons to be removed.

This work is progressing, and as part of ongoing assessments of the area, the Council this week determined it was safe to restore two-way traffic. Some cordons still remain on footpaths surrounding damaged buildings as repairs continue.

The Council continues to work closely with the affected building owners to help them as they progress the necessary repairs or consider demolition. The Building Recovery Office, set up immediately following the earthquake to fast-track building and demolition consents for earthquake-damaged properties, has staff available to help property owners. Landlords are encouraged to pass information about the repair or removal process along to their tenants, who are also significantly affected by the damage.

160 Manchester Street demolition cordons reduced

Fences at the south end of the 160 Manchester Street demolition cordon have been pulled-back by around 25 metres today as progress is made on the demolition of the building.

From today, businesses and residents at 181, 183, 185, 146 and 148 Manchester Street (up to and including Sullivans bar and Topkapi restaurant) will be able to resume trading and return home.

The building owner's demolition company has removed the seventh floor of the building, and a 360-tonne concrete plinth has also gone from the south side, reducing the risk of falling debris.

The Council is also looking to restore access to Manchester Street north of the Hereford Street intersection by the end of the week.

Mr McCarthy says the Council has been working with the owner of 160 Manchester Street to ensure the building in taken down as quickly as possible.

"We are aware of the impact the cordons have on surrounding businesses and residents, and we are working with the building owner to ensure demolition is completed swiftly. However, the safety of the public remains the paramount concern throughout this process," he says.

By the end of next week (3 December) it is expected that Hereford Street buildings which back on to 160 Manchester Street will be reopened, with some pedestrian access to Manchester Street restored the week after that.

Ninety per cent of the work to demolish the building is in the top two storeys. By mid-January, it is expected the building will have been demolished to the second floor, at which time it should be possible to reopen Manchester Street to one or two lanes of traffic.

It was found that light steel iron work in the horizontal floors did not extend around the north-west corner of the building, meaning that the demolition of this part of the building was comparatively straight-forward and there was very little inherent strength in this feature.

In addition to the 360 tonne plinth, a further 300 tonnes of brick have been removed for recycling and there is currently 120 tonnes of bricks on the road. The plinth is being crushed to be used for hard-fill material. All of the rimu flooring has been removed and some Canadian Oregon beams will also be recycled.

ENDS

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