Construction has taken over from demolition at the new Dunedin Hospital site as workers watch the first pile being driven into place yesterday afternoon.
The hollow pile had a custom-built 14-tonne hammer, dubbed Hammeroid by Otago Daily Times readers, inserted inside it to start the work of driving it deep into the earth below.
Fading light caused work to be halted while it was only partly driven into the ground. Work is set to continue today.
The pile is the first of about 80 due to be installed over the next five months.
Ministry of Health construction director Andrew Holmes said the community had already travelled a long way to get to this point, and it was exciting to be starting work on the piles.
"Here we are, we’re finally going down a little bit to go up quite a lot."
The noise and vibration generated by yesterday’s work had been relatively mild, and extensive monitoring was being done to ensure those factors did not get out of hand.
"We’re doing our utmost effort to make it as easy for the community as we possibly can."