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Ask Phoebe: Green Lane road work still on target

By Phoebe Falconer

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Why has the digging up of Green Lane East, which in signs over Christmas was to start and finish in January, been extended with the road closed until March? For a big chunk early this month there was no progress at the top of the hill, after rapid re-laying of road from Ascot Ave half way up. Tim Gordon, Remuera.

The contractor responsible for the work says the signs always stated that work would take place from January to March. They made good progress in the early stages until they encountered issues with underground water services and poor ground conditions. This considerably slowed progress. But they are still on track with expected completion at the end of March.

One of the most harrowing items in the television coverage of the burning twin towers in New York on 9/11 was that of people too high up to be rescued choosing to jump to their deaths rather than waiting to be incinerated. Which raises the question - if 18 storey apartment towers are to be permitted in Auckland, what is the maximum height that can be reached with Auckland Fire Brigade ladders? Henry Perkins, Botany Downs.

Kerry Gregory, area commander for the Auckland City Fire Area, says the largest of their ladder appliances has a reach of 32m which is a maximum reach of up to eight storeys. These ladder appliances are similar to those used in the United States.

All of New Zealand's high-rise buildings are designed and built to stringent building codes which require the occupants to be able to escape safely in the event of an emergency. These buildings are also required to have evacuation schemes and regularly practise their systems to ensure occupants know how to leave the building safely. Extraordinary circumstances such as were experienced on 9/11 will challenge the building design but the application of the building code during construction and design helps make New Zealand's buildings safe for the community.

Will the trains still run all the way to Waitakere station when the new electric trains start? So far the new power lines for the trains only go as far as Swanson. Mike Raphael, Waitakere.

Services from Swanson to Waitakere are under review. It is expected that where rail services do continue to serve this area after the completion of electrification, a diesel-powered shuttle service will run between the two stations.

- NZ Herald

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