|Safety Issues Prompt Urgent Work on Earthquake-Damaged Shed 35|
|Thursday, 15 December 2016 15:39|
CentrePort will start urgent work to contain asbestos on the roof of Shed 35 – a vacant cargo store severely damaged in the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 14th November.
“We have talked to WorkSafe and Wellington City Council about our plans to control asbestos on the roof, and the future of the severely damaged building,” Chief Executive Derek Nind said.
Work is expected to begin this week and would involve a large crane to reach the roof and spray a compound to bond the asbestos panels damaged in the earthquake.
Mr Nind said the Port had talked to Heritage New Zealand about the fate of the 1915 warehouse, which is not an historic place, but is a “listed heritage building” under the Wellington city district plan.
“Shed 35 is susceptible to further damage or collapse, and it is impacting on the Bluebridge ferry operation, which is a key strategic freight link and critical lifeline facility in the event of a major earthquake in the region.
“It’s very important to have alternative transport links in the event of a natural disaster, such as the two Cook Strait ferry services.”
Strait Shipping commercial manager Ed Menzies says the company supports the process undertaken by CentrePort.
"The safety of our staff - who work in close proximity to the building - is our key priority. In addition, the wide cordon around the building is causing delays in the movement of freight and passengers because of the single access point to and from our ferries.”
Wellington City Council Planning Manager Warren Ulusele says it has been a “tough but necessary call” to utilise the Resource Management Act emergency provisions in this case.
“We’ll do as much as possible to retain the city’s heritage, but in this case we have a seriously damaged building in danger of collapse.
“This is a unique set of circumstances relating to a life-line utility, which allow emergency provisions to apply, which would not be applicable in other circumstances across the city.”
Mr Nind said the company would continue working with stakeholders on the process, while also starting demolition of the former NZRU building, which had been classified as earthquake prone before the Kaikoura earthquake.
CentrePort’s key trades of ferries, fuel, logs, cars, and cruise ships are operating normally, while the Port explores opportunities for limited container shipping using geared ships.
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