Demolition crane moves onto next big quake damage job

7:55 pm on 29 December 2016

A specialised demolition crane that has been tearing down an earthquake damaged office block in central Wellington, is heading across the city to begin work on another building today.

Molesworth Street, Wellington.  The Wellington City Council took over management of the deconstruction from the building's owner, Prime Property Group, owned by Eyal Aharoni.

Most of the Molesworth Street building has now been torn down. Photo: RNZ / Michael Cropp

The long-reach crane has destroyed most of the ten storey office block in Molesworth Street .

Just two walls and a couple of floors surround the pile of rubble that once was 61 Molesworth Street.

Those walls were protecting a sculpted mural on the ground floor, that art enthusiasts were trying to save.

The crane, which was widely used to deconstruct buildings in Christchurch after its earthquakes nearly six years ago, is currently being dismantled to its base, weights, boom and crane.

The boom was being moved today, but the bulk of it would be taken from midnight tonight.

It will be taken across town to the quake-damaged Reading Cinemas car park.

The Wellington City Council said it would take a few days to set up the crane on Tory Street, and it hoped the demolition would begin in the New Year.

In preparation for the demolition, Tory Street has been covered in a thick layer of hard-fill dirt, piled about a metre high to protect the road before the nearly 100 tonne crane is set up.

That demolition is expected to finish by the end of March.

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