Road closure for Podium demolition

Demolition of the earthquake-prone Podium bar in central Blenheim is set to begin on Sunday.

Marlborough Roads principal asset manager Steve Murrin said Marlborough Roads would approve a roading plan which HEB Construction Ltd submitted on Monday.

Wynen St would be reduced to one lane this Sunday so demolition could begin and the following Sunday the whole road would be closed.

Christchurch contractor Paul Flanagan has been stripping the interior of the bar ahead of demolition. Marlborough Roads sign-off was needed before he could start removing the second-floor facade, one brick at a time.

Bricks would be dropped into bins below which was why the road had to be closed, Mr Flanagan said.

"We can't get a scaffold up until then."

He expected the site to be clear and ready for building by about August 25.

Mr Murrin said the roading plan involved closing one lane of Wynen St from Mondays to Wednesdays and total closure on Sundays. A section of footpath along Market St would also be closed and an alternative provided.

TH Barnes chief executive John Smithies said he expected to start building the one-storey retail shop, to house Number 1 Shoe Warehouse, on the site in about five weeks.

The Podium is one of 22 buildings in Blenheim and Picton under notice by the council to be strengthened to meet earthquake standards or be demolished.

The Marlborough Express