Thursday, March 29, 2012

CBD Red Zone: Les Mills Gym, Calendar Girls Reopening

Fri 30.03.12. Thirteen months post 22.02.11,  mag 6.3 quake, Les Mills gym on Cashel St reopened in Christchurch red zone CBD. Post 22.02.11 quake, Les Mills gym was one of the first businesses to reopen after Civil Defence & CERA occupied & closed Christchurch CBD behind a fence cordon. Calendar Girls strip club behind, on Hereford St, would reopen a week later, Thurs 05.04.12.

9 images, Cashel St, Worcester St:

30.03.12. Holden Blackwells demolition, cnr Cashel St / Madras St

At Cashel St / Madras St crossing, my way down Cashel St was blocked by a red zone cordon fence. Holden Blackwells was being demolished, opp fence-cordoned, CTV bldg demolition site, where 115 people perished, when CTV bldg collapsed & burned in the 22.02.11 quake.

30.03.12. Latimer Hotel rebuild, cnr Worcester St / Latimer Sq


I drove to Worcester St where I parked my car opp Latimer Hotel rebuild. Workmen in orange, Hi Vis vests & hard hats were laying new Latimer Hotel foundations. Five months ago, I'd snapped Latimer Hotel demolition. Across the road, behind shipping containers on a demolition site, stood fence-cordoned, abandoned Park Tower On Latimer.

21 images, Latimer Sq:

30.03.12. Quake abandoned, Park Tower On Latimer, Latimer Sq

A short circuit walk into former red zone: I wandered across Latimer Sq & looked at 2 sucker trucks & workmen cleaning a drain in Latimer Sq, by Madras St / Hereford St junction. Beyond the red zone, cordon fence were many demolition sites & high rises still to be demolished. It would be many months before the CBD red zone completely reopened, due to CERA's slow demolitions.

CERA Information sheet, Issue 8, Mar 2012 boasted about UK's Twinkletoes, a giant, demolition crane  demolishing PWC high rise ending in Dec 2012, nearly 2 years post 22.02.11 quake. PWC's drop zone caused bldgs in the vicinity to be trapped & closed in the red zone cordon, until PWC vanished. Why did CERA take so long organizing PWC's demolition? 

Meanwhile EQC still stalled quake damaged house pay outs, jabbering about "apportionment" of damages / pay outs caused by various 04.09.10, 22.02.11, 13.06.11 & 23.12.11 quakes. The latest excuse for EQC delaying pay outs, was EQC waiting for a Dept of Building & Housing report, regarding green-blue, TC3 house foundations. (Due in May). While that EQC delay-defer-deny went on, quake-stricken householders sucked on silt & waited... (The Press 02.04.12).

30.03.12. Post quake sucker trucks, Latimer Sq

30.03.12. CBD, red zone, Arrow House demolition site, diggers & rubble crusher. CTV demolition site & abandoned IRD beyond, Madras St / Hereford St / Latimer Sq junction
30.03.12. Latimer Sq view of red zone demolition sites, Hereford St. IRD left, Les Mills gym middle
30.03.12. Former red zone, Calendar Girls strip club, middle, Hereford St. Orange, demolition digger left & red zone, abandoned CBD bldgs beyond
30.03.12. Former red zone, Les Mills gym left, Calendar Girls right, Hereford St. Red zone, CBD bldgs beyond
30.03.12. Red zone, cnr Madras St / Hereford St view of Arrow House, demolition site diggers & green, rubble crusher

30.03.12. Latimer Sq view of red zone, Arrow House demolition site workman hosing demolition dust, cnr Madras St / Hereford St. CTV demolition site & IRD beyond 

Latimer Sq / Hereford St / Madras St cnrs: Opp St Johns Anglican Church demolition site, on Arrow House demolition site, 2 diggers dug up demolition rubble & dumped it on a gree, crusher machine, with a conveyor belt, which formed heaps of powdery rubble. Workmen in hard hats & orange, Hi Vis vests operated the green, crusher machine. Another workman hosed the site with water to stop dust pollution. CTV bldg demolition site behind was almost forgotten in the clamour of crunching machines.

10 images, Hereford St:

30.03.12. Latimer Sq view of red zone Hereford St & Calendar Girls left

30.03.12. Former red zone, Calendar Girls, Hereford St

30.03.12. Red zone, cnr Hereford St / Liverpool St view, Latimer Sq left, Calendar Girls right
30.03.12. Red zone, Torrens House behind cordon fence, 13 months so far, Hereford St. Torrens House was demolished in 2013

I wandered down Hereford St, to the red zone, cordon fence, past another demolition site & a big, orange digger parked between Calendar Girls & Les Mills gym. I snapped red zone bldgs on Hereford St & Hereford St / Manchester St crossing, where workmen in hard hats & orange, Hi Vis vests roamed amongst quake-trashed bldgs.

Many quake-crapped bldgs were demolished in the red zone CBD. Significance of Les Mills & Calendar Girls was that they were the only serial, quake-survivor bldgs on their sides of Cashel St & Hereford St respectively. The rest of the 2 streets had a few more bldg survivors, opp the gym & strip club, but most bldgs were quake-trashed & demolished in the block between Madras St & Liverpool St. That was the pattern of quake / demolition desolated, red zone, CBD - a few quake survivor bldgs, surrounded by demolition wasteland.

Yet Council & CERA planned to rebuild on quake-crapped, demolition land, on top of the known, CBD Fault, which caused the Boxing Day aftershock, causing more CBD quake damage, post 04.09.10 quake. And rebuild on demolition land, over underground streams, capped wells & drained swampland near Avon River. Given CBD liquefaction damage, we witnessed post-quake, mass hysteria by so-called rebuild experts: planners, surveyors, designers, architects, engineers, builders, Council, CERA.

Parker's & Marryatt's Council was scheming to extort 7.47% rates increase from quake-hassled ratepayers, many of whom battled for pay outs from EQC & insurers. Council should claim Council rebuild costs from insurers, not ratepayers. Why had town clerk, Marryatt underinsured Council assets? (The Press 03.04.12).

A year later, Council in its Three Year Plan, 2013-2016 draft, gave these tawdry excuses:

"Why didn't the Council have more insurance for its infrastructure?

...No one expected such a huge earthquake causing such massive damage. Decisions were based on expert assessments of the risk from the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, which put our city's seismic risk low.

Why didn't the Council have more insurance for buildings?

Before the earthquakes, Council's assets were insured for close to $1.9 billion on a full reinstatement basis per asset. [21.12.15. The Press reported that Council would only get $635m global payout for Council's insured assets. So much for $1.9 billion insurance. Ratepayers were bullshitted!]

This was based on advice from professional valuers. The gap between insurance & rebuild costs is the extra cost required to make our buildings meet 100 percent of new building standards and introduce improvements. Unlike open-ended replacement household insurance, our facilities were covered to a set value based on repairs to 33 percent of the value of the new building code..."

Fudging. Many pre-quake bldgs, which collapsed in quakes in the CBD, were nowhere near 33% latest bldg code, at the time quakes hit, as Council had allowed bldg owners decades to get their crappy, old bldgs up to regularly changing codes. Parker & Marryatt were responsible for under insuring Council infrastructure & assets!

Yet NZ National govt / CERA soon pressurized Council to sell its assets to pay for NZ National govt's / CERA's over priced, Blueprint CBD rebuilds.

As proved by the Royal Commission of Inquiry & Coroners Inquest, like other slack authorities - bldg design engineers, construction engineers, inspection engineers, construction managers, bldg owners, cops, USAR / TF management, fire service management - Council was good at buck passing. 

22 images, Liverpool St:

30.03.12. Cnr Liverpool St / Hereford St, W view into red zone, CBD, Hereford St

I wandered along Liverpool St to Cashel St, snapping red zone, Oaks Smartstay apartments with quake broken windows. Beyond were desolate, demolition sites from Cashel St to High St. Two new car parks, smelling of new asphalt, flanked Les Mills gym.

 30.03.12. Liverpool St view into red zone CBD. Holiday Inn & Westpac behind, awaited demolition

30.03.12. Liverpool St demolition site view of red zone Torrens House, Hereford St. Torrens House was demolished in 2013
30.03.12. Red zone, orange digger, parked behind Calendar Girls, Liverpool St

30.03.12. Red zone, abandoned bldg, Liverpool St. New car park by Les Mills gym right

30.03.12. Yellow stickered, USAR / TF graffitied, glass door, red zone, Liverpool St

30.03.12. Quake broken, glass door panes, red zone, Liverpool St

30.03.12. Quake broken, window pane, red zone, Liverpool St
30.03.12. Liverpool St view of red zone, Cashel St & across demolition sites to red zone, High St
30.03.12. Quake broken, Oaks Smartstay windows, red zone, Liverpool St
30.03.12. Cnr Liverpool St / Cashel St W view of red zone, CBD, closed high rises, Holiday Inn awaiting demolition left, Oaks Smartstay right
30.03.12. Cnr Liverpool St / Cashel St view to Cashel St / Manchester St crossing, red zone, CBD. 13 months closed, Grumpy Mole bar, middle. Holiday Inn awaited demolition beyond
30.03.12. Cashel St, red zone view across demolition sites to Tuam St / High St junction. Quake trashed, McKenzie Willis bldg left. Recently reopened Alice in Videoland, white bldg, middle

On Cashel St, I snapped more bldgs behind the red zone, cordon fence. USAR / TF graffiti still besmirched doors of cordon-closed bldgs, 13 months post Feb 22 quake.

17 images, Cashel St:

30.03.12. Red zone bldgs, serial quake survivors, Cashel St

30.03.12. CBD, red zone, USAR / TF graffiti on door, Cashel St 

30.03.12. EXTREME DANGER sign, CBD, red zone cordon fence, Cashel St. Closed, IRD bldg left

Les Mills gym buzzed with customers, eager to exercise. Personnel stood behind the reception counter welcoming people. Across Cashel St, abandoned IRD bldg loomed in the red zone.

30.02.12. Red zone, reopened Les Mills gym, Cashel St. New car park & CTV bldg, demolition site beyond
30.03.12. Bikes by reopened Les Mills gym, Cashel St. Red zone, IRD bldg beyond

A sign in Les Mills gym window read:

                            This facility and structure has been
                                               certified as

                                               A    A

                    Based on Earthquake Risk Grading Systems as
 defined by the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Inc

30.03.12. Reopened Les Mills gym, W view, red zone, Cashel St

30.03.12. New carpark view of Les Mills gym, side window, lane between Cashel St & Hereford St

Between Les Mills bldg & CTV bldg, demolition site was another new car park, smelling of fresh asphalt. Close to the CTV demolition site, workmen crushed rubble on the green, rubble crusher. When I wandered by, workmen sat drinking morning tea, before completing asphalting the lane between Cashel St & Hereford St.

30.03.12. New car park view of red zone Cashel St. IRD bldg left, Les Mills gym right

30.03.12. New car park view of red zone, abandoned, IRD bldg, Cashel St
30.03.12. Red zone, CTV demolition site view of Madras St / Cashel St crossing. St Pauls Trinity Pacific Presbyterian Church, demolition site beyond
30.03.12. New carpark view of CTV demolition site, Madras St / Cashel St crossing & Holden Blackwells demolition site

17 images, Madras St, Hereford St:

30.03.12. Orange digger loading red zone, Arrow House, demolition rubble, Madras St
30.03.12. Yellow digger loading red zone, Arrow House, demolition rubble onto green, rubble crusher, Hereford St

30.03.12. Post quake demolition site & parked, orange digger, Hereford St. Les Mills gym left, Calendar Girls middle, Torrens House right awaited demolition
30.03.12. Digger bucket, red zone, demolition site, Hereford St. Torrens House left & Newstalk ZB, high rise awaiting demolition middle. Latimer Sq trees right
30.03.12. Former red zone, new asphalt on lane between Cashel St & Hereford St. Les Mills gym left. Calendar Girls, behind digger middle. Torrens House, awaiting demolition right

30.03.12. Tangled, salvaged, reinforcement steel. Red zone, Arrow House, demolition site, cnr Hereford St / Madras St. Holden Blackwells, demolition site beyond

Demolition rubble, crushing clamour continued, when I wandered back to my car, across Latimer Sq.

30.03.12. Hereford House, demolition site, behind hedge, cnr Latimer Sq / Hereford St
*Wandered Cashel St, Worcester St, Latimer Sq, Hereford St, Liverpool St, Madras St.

The Press, 28.03.12 had reported that Councillors wanted to spend $91 million, transforming red zone, CBD, one-way streets into two-way streets again, after decades of free-flowing traffic on one-way streets. The idea was to slow down traffic on two-way streets & encourage people back to the post quake CBD. If implemented, two-way, CBD traffic would cause $91 million traffic jams, long after those Councillors were gone & forgotten. (By 2018, Durham St Sth, one-way, was a mess, with traffic slowed by widened pavements. St Asaph St, one-way, was worse, with two traffic lanes encroached by & a cycle lane & parking. And those were one-way streets! Manchester St was a mess with two-way traffic slowed by widened pavements).

$91 million would've been better spent fixing many lumpy, pot holed roads, going to quake stricken, eastern suburbs. Third World roads I often drove: Pages Rd, Warrington St, Shirley Rd, New Brighton Rd, Travis Rd, Rookwood Ave, Bowhill Rd... all needed fixing.

Weekend Press 31.3.12 -1.4.12. The Press reported that CERA wanted to tender out bus tours into the red zone CBD, despite CERA running its recent "gold coin" bus tours at a loss into the CBD red zone, where people were invited to farewell ruined CBD in late 2011. CERA was delusional.

If NZ govt / CERA couldn't profit, how would private bus contractors profit? Never mind Christchurch citizens being banned from CERA occupied, red zone, CBD for more than a year. 13 months post 22.02.11 quake, NZDF checkpoints still stopped citizens entering CERA occupied, red zone, CBD, on a par with apartheid, Berlin wall & apartheid, Israel / Palestine wall.

Council & CERA worked against each other rather than together. While Council dithered with a red zone, CBD road plan, CERA dithered with red zone, CBD bus tours, saying nothing about Council's road plan. Who / what was in charge of Christchurch quake recovery, CERA or Council?

Sat 31.3.12. 7.54 am, 3.8 mag quake, 10 km depth, 20 km E of Christchurch (GeoNet). Rattled our windows.

Wed 03.04.12, 7.04 am, 3.8 mag quake, 8 km depth, 20 km NE of Lyttelton. (GeoNet). I didn't feel it as I was at Hornby, about 30 kms from the epicentre. Leah didn't feel it at Burnside, about 20 kms from the epicentre. Quake depth & personal distance from an epicentre made the difference between smugness & shaking.

Good Fri 06.04.12, 11.33 pm, 4.2 mag quake, 10 km depth, 20 km W of Christchurch. (GeoNet). Shook our house. Sunny, autumn day. Full moon rising.

Content & pics, Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See $91m to turn one way streets to two way (The Press / Stuff Co).

See EQC denies payout freeze (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Ratepayers face 7.47 percent increase (The Press / Stuff Co)

See Good News on Chch's insurance shambles has been a long time coming (The Press / Stuff Co).

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