Rockfall risk shuts Milford road

19:11, Nov 13 2012

The Milford road was closed last night because of the risk of rockfalls.

NZ Transport Agency southern state highway manager Ian Duncan said State Highway 94 was closed to traffic from 6pm because of the risk of rockfalls 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."

Mr Duncan said geotechnical experts had made an initial inspection and confirmed that it was not possible to predict when or how much material may be dislodged as the snow recedes during the warmer periods or because of rain. The agency would provide a further update on the road today.

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