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Demolition on Wellington building to start

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/11/2016

An emergency worker patrols a road cordon after officials determined a nine-story office building is in danger of collapsing following a powerful earthquake. © AP Images An emergency worker patrols a road cordon after officials determined a nine-story office building is in danger of collapsing following a powerful earthquake. Demolition is set to begin on 61 Molesworth St, a nine-storey building in central Wellington, a week after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

Part of the building was substantially damaged in the quake and there are concerns it may collapse.

A demolition contractor has been hired to deconstruct the building, using an 85-tonne excavator, with work starting as early as Monday and expected to last two weeks.

Wellington City Council chief executive Kevin Lavery says the first to go will be the Molesworth Street facade of the building.

"By doing this, we can hopefully reduce the cordon around Molesworth Street to vehicles and pedestrians within around a week of demolition work starting," he said.

"This will allow more buildings, for example the Embassy of Thailand and NZ Rugby headquarters, to be reopened."

A family had been living in the building and businesses in it include Bali Day Spa, Nudel Wellington, The Mews and City Clothing.

Work to temporarily strengthen the multi-storey Reading Cinema car park in Tory Street is expected to start during the next few days.

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