Cleanup of Christ Church Cathedral ended a month early using a remote-controlled excavator

The remote-controlled excavator working inside the cathedral finished cleaning a month ahead of schedule. Photo / Provided

The remote-controlled excavator working inside Christ Church Cathedral finished cleaning a month ahead of schedule.

The digger has been working inside the cathedral’s nave for 41 days and removed 247.92 tons of material, including debris, masonry and guano – a significant biohazard – and heritage fabric.

“This innovative digital solution saved the project’s critical work plan approximately three months. It marked the start of the major interior cleaning and constitutes a new stage in the restoration journey of the cathedral”, said the project director. , Keith Paterson.

“The safe recovery of heritage fabric has been a top priority for the Christ Church Cathedral Restoration Project.”

Paterson said a heritage professional found various artifacts in the material, including mosaic tiles from the tessellated panels once found on the inner west wall, coins lost over time in people’s pockets and broken fragments of stained glass.

Inside Christ Church Cathedral after the backhoe cleanup.  Photo / Provided
Inside Christ Church Cathedral after the backhoe cleanup. Photo / Provided

Staff from project partners Protranz Earthmoving Limited and Aurecon, who first suggested the use of the remote-controlled excavator, operated it from an operations center outside the cathedral at the using cameras with live streaming capability.

Paterson said the remote-controlled excavator is a safety-focused approach that addresses health and safety issues by keeping staff out of the building while still getting the job done.

Martha J. Finley