Milford Rd reopens

20:43, Nov 17 2012

The Milford Rd will be open for restricted hours for the next few weeks.

After a helicopter inspection and a geotechnical assessment of the fractured rock site the road was opened today.

NZ Transport Agency area manager Peter Robinson said  traffic control would be in place between Avalanche Creek to the Chapel.

Road users would be asked to follow the directions of  road workers and stick to the no-stopping requirement at the western side of the tunnel.

This would be strictly enforced, he said.

For the next few weeks the section of road between Hollyford turnoff and Milford would be closed every night from 6pm to 7am for safety reasons, Mr Robinson said.

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The rocks above the tunnel will continue to be monitored. Because this cannot be done effectively during the hours of darkness it was decided to close the road overnight.

If heavy rain is forecast the Hollyford to Milford section of the highway would be closed to ensure the safety of travellers, Mr Robinson said.

The agency hoped to firm up plans to safely remove loose rock from area above the western tunnel entrance in the next few days, he said.

Tour operators will get twice daily updates on road conditions to help them plan their Milford operations during the next few weeks.

For updates visit www.nzta.govt.nz

The Southland Times