Zone 8 to be opened after 'massive effort'
Last updated 05:00 08/04/2011
A southern Christchurch cordon will be lifted today after a "massive effort" to make the area safe.
Zone 8, which covers Colombo St between Moorhouse Ave and Brougham St, will be open to residents and business owners from 8am today and to the public from tomorrow.
Several buildings in the area have been demolished, but it is hoped the 100-year-old former Sydenham post office on the corner of Brougham and Colombo streets, home to Blue Jean Cuisine, can be saved.
Leslie Smart, of Leithfield, who owns the restaurant with wife Fiona, said a crumbling stairwell in the building was demolished yesterday. "The old ship stood up very well," he said.
"There is some damage to the structural integrity of the building, but if the earthquakes ceased or we don't get another big one, there is the opportunity to do something with it."
Smart said the building was braced inside and out this week, and its fate was in the hands of engineers. "We remain hopeful that the building can be saved."
Civil Defence national controller Steve Brazier said eight contractors had been working at 25 properties to get the zone reopened.
"We've had to consider propping and shoring heritage buildings and plan around how that might impact on reducing the cordon," he said.
"We've also worked to bring multiple owners to a point of agreement to get work in the area done.
"It has been a massive effort, and being able to open is a great achievement."
To be given access today, residents and business owners will need to go to the entry point at the intersection of Brougham and Colombo streets with identification and proof of address.
Zone 4 north will be open to residents and business owners from Sunday and to the public from Monday, while zone 7a will open on Monday to residents and businesses and to the public on Tuesday.
Zone 4 north encompasses Bealey Ave, Salisbury St, Montreal St and Park Tce. Zone 7a covers the area between Chester St East, Madras St, Barbadoes St and Oxford Tce.
Checkpoints will remain after zone 7a has been opened to stop unauthorised entry into zones 6 and 7 and the red zone.