Lower Nelson Street will be shut for longer than initially thought after engineers yesterday discovered more serious issues with the Victopia apartment tower.

Ian Harris, representing the owner of the 203-unit 14-level block on the Victoria St/Nelson St/Vogel Lane corner, said more work was needed on the building's exterior than was initially planned and that had delayed the road's re-opening.

"It may be opened Thursday. Babbage went up and identified some panels on which they would like ply restrains on the corners under the netting," Harris said.

Babbage Consultants yesterday inspected work on the tower to stop it being a safety hazard, after a 40kg panel fell from an upper level last week.


Plywood must now be applied to exterior cladding joins behind the netting which has been erected to stop the building shedding more materials.

Harris said he hoped the street would open soon but the plywood was "a precautionary measure" and it was needed due to the latest report.

Engineers have now also examined the more restricted-entry Vogel Lane elevation of the building and discovered the same issues blighting the tower's Victoria St and Nelson St frontages.

That means workers now have to squeeze their gear into that laneway and scale the building to apply protective materials. Truck cranes are on lower Nelson St, their boom being used as the hoist for a cage or mobile platform for workers to gain access to the tower's exterior elevations and faces.

But Vogel Lane is so much more narrow than Victoria St or Nelson St that it is likely only to be able to take one truck crane, not two. That would slow progress.

Harris said the insurer had to be notified after last week's falling panel and the body corporate would contact its broker.

Harris said yesterday he hoped lower Nelson St would open later last evening, but that did not occur after the engineering inspection.

"We hope Nelson St will be open tonight. That's what we're working towards but I can't make any guarantees," Harris said.


Auckland Transport said it was awaiting a further update on Victopia today.

"We're working on the basis of the street re-opening during the middle of the week, subject to weather conditions and other factors," a spokesman said.