The NZ Transport Agency is optimistic the road to Milford Sound will reopen tomorrow after several avalanches were brought down onto the highway in a managed programme during the past few days.
One of the avalanches, at Raspberry Creek, was up to five metres deep and covered a 100-metre stretch of State Highway 94.
NZTA Otago-Southland state highways manager Ian Duncan said getting the road open again would depend on the outcome of an initial inspection around 7:30am tomorrow.
"It is expected that icy conditions may exist if the road is reopened so we will be making sure the road surface is well gritted and safe before traffic is allowed on it," he said.
The highway from the Hollyford turn-off to Milford Sound was closed intermittently during the past week as a result of severe weather conditions, including more than 500mm of rainfall in seven days near the Homer Tunnel.
The route was last open on Monday, and Duncan said that if it did reopen tomorrow motorists should allow extra time in case of delays to clear snow.
People who had wanted to leave Milford Sound over the past week have been escorted out by road contractors, including 34 vehicles last Thursday, he said.
Getting supplies to those who have chosen to remain at Milford Sound would be done as soon as the road reopened, although there were no immediate concerns about supplies running out.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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