Part of quake red zone 'on track' to reopen in October

7:05 pm on 8 July 2011

Part of the red zone in central Christchurch is on track to reopen by late October despite a big aftershock in June hampering progress.

Media were taken on a tour of the cordoned-off zone on Friday to see progress on clearing damaged buildings.

In Cashel Street, the big Whitcoulls building and its neighbour lie in piles of rubble and the Shades Arcade next door will be the next to go.

Most of the rest of the mall is still to be pulled down. The work was delayed by the aftershock on 13 June.

Other buildings still to come down include the old Zetland Hotel and high-rise DTZ building on the corner of Oxford Terrace.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority says work is behind schedule but it is confident the 300-metre-long strip will be reopened by the end of October.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee is confident the plan to reopen part of central Christchurch in time for Cup and Show Week in November is still achievable.