Two forty metre high cranes are to be brought in to work on making the Central Plaza building on Victoria Viaduct safe.
A Carlisle City Council spokesperson said: “Preparatory onsite works continue on the former Central Plaza building. A specialist contractor is undertaking a radar survey of the Victoria Viaduct. This is required to ensure the road is safe to take the loading of two forty metre high cranes. The survey will establish what services and voids are under the road. As part of this work, additional highly specialised equipment will be on site tomorrow (Wednesday). This was last used at works at Heathrow Airport.
“The cranes will be used to remove the seven tonnes of loose masonry on the front elevation. The stone is at the top of the building at excess of 18 metres in height. The cranes are on standby and will be brought on to site subject to the completion of the radar survey and the go-ahead being given for safe access. Once on site, contractors will be instructed, if safe, to work 24 hours a day to complete the works.
“The complex site is in a confined area and additional hoarding will also be installed.
“We are continuing to work in partnership with Cumbria County Council’s highways team and specialist contractors to ensure the safety of the former Central Plaza building. Every effort is being made to accelerate the programme of works and in addition to the grounds surveys; support continues to be provided to local businesses affected by the closure of Victoria Viaduct.
“As the former Central Plaza building has no owner (it is currently in escheat but rests with the Crown Estate), the City Council is duty bound to ensure that the property does not cause an immediate danger to persons in and around the building. This is covered under the Building Act 1984 s78 Dangerous Buildings – Emergency Measures.
“Our priority is to ensure the building is safe and all possible steps are being taken to find the quickest way to do this.”