| GEO Amazing and Interesting|
NZ hotel move 'the world's slowest pub crawl'
| Updated at: 1004 PST, Wednesday, September 01, 2010|
WELLINGTON: New Zealand hosted a pub crawl with a difference on Wednesday, as a landmark hostelry was painstakingly moved 40 metres (130 feet) up an Auckland hill to make way for a road tunnel.
The 124-year-old Birdcage Tavern lies in the path of a major motorway expansion in New Zealand's largest city.
Rather than demolish the heritage-listed pub, owners the NZ Transport Authority decided to move the entire structure temporarily up a hill until the construction work is completed in six months.
Helen Cook, a spokeswoman for the Victoria Park tunnel project, said the original building was made of bricks and mortar, meaning it needed massive reinforcement before the move could commence, including inserting carbon fibre rods through the walls.
The three-storey building was jacked onto concrete rails lubricated with Teflon and liquid silicon, then carefully pushed up the hill by hydraulic rams.
The move, which was six months in the planning and cost 2.5 million New Zealand dollars (1.75 million US), took two days and was completed Wednesday.
Cook said thousands of curious onlookers watched the building's slow-motion journey.
"It's very difficult to actually perceive any movement unless you fix your eye on a reference point," she said.
"Someone described it this morning as the slowest pub crawl in the world."
Cook said the building should be back in its original location and serving pub patrons by early next year.