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Demolition begins on Lyttelton Tunnel Control building

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Work will get underway on Monday (14 January) on the demolition of the badly earthquake-damaged Lyttelton Tunnel Control building.

The building, which sustained serious structural damage as a result of the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes, has been classified as dangerous and will be demolished under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011.

The NZ Transport Agency’s Southern Region State Highways North Canterbury Area Manager Barry Stratton says work will begin on Monday with some remedial work to make the building safe for workers to begin the strip out.

“This phase of the demolition work will take about two weeks, with the actual demolition of the three-storey building scheduled to begin later this month/early February and take about a month to complete.”

He says a traffic management plan will be implemented, however motorists using the tunnel road from next week are asked to take extra care during the demolition. “In particular, we need motorists to be aware of trucks carrying building material which will be regularly exiting the site throughout the day.”

Mr Stratton says NZTA made the decision to have the historic building demolished only after it had completed a full investigation of all feasible options to repair it. “The cost of repairing the building was $3.5 million more than building a new fit-for-purpose one.”

A new tunnel control building will be built, away from the rock fall path of the existing structure, that reflects both the heritage of the tunnel location and the nature of the old building which was designed by the late Peter Beaven.

He says design work for the new building is underway, with on-site construction expected to begin in May.

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