Rockfall risk closes Milford Road

The Milford Road has been closed tonight because of the risk of rock falls.

New Zealand Transport Agency southern state highway manager Ian Duncan said the road was closed to traffic from 6pm tonight, because of the risk of rock falls above the western portal of the Homer Tunnel.

The closure was necessary to protect the public, he said.

''Rocks are currently suspended in a snowpack above the tunnel portal, and as the snow melts the rocks are expected to drop vertically onto the road near the tunnel portal. Our top priority is protecting the safety of road users, and this closure will remain in effect until further notice."

Duncan said geotechnical experts had carried out an initial inspection today and confirmed that it is not possible to predict when or how much material may be dislodged as the snow recedes during the warmer periods or due to rain.

Duncan said the NZTA would provide a further update tomorrow.

The Southland Times