My last post on this subject wondered why this was going so slowly and theorised that maybe the contractors were having mechanical problems with their equipment. However it has become clear there was a cunning plan all thought out when work started on the clock tower a week ago.
The plan being, that in order to limit encroachment onto Moorhouse Ave (which already is significant), machinery would demolish the clock tower from the side. In order to be able to get a long reach excavator in close enough, the wing on that side was demolished. The delay was the time it took to dig out the basement, which was then filled in to make a base for the excavator to work from. In order to guard against debris falling onto Moorhouse Ave some shipping containers have been stacked up along the frontage.
Evidently this particular machine has been hired in to perform the clock tower demolition, due to its height. I don’t how much this particular machine weighs, the biggest such machine in Christchurch which has been used to demolish some of the highrise buildings weighs over 200 tonnes. You can see this boom is pretty long, and the base unit would have to be heavily counterweighted in order to balance the weight and length of that boom when operating at full reach. In other words there are some big heavy weights attached to the rear of the base unit of the excavator, and the hydraulic rams in the front would be pretty powerful because they have to lift the whole boom.
This is what the west end of the station looks like right now. The brickwork has been ripped off the front or maybe it fell off with the vibration from the machinery at work. So while the machinery works away on the clock tower, the work has started on the main part of the building at the opposite end.