Time to pop the rock

HANNAH MCLEOD
Last updated 05:00 24/01/2014

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A massive rock exposed by blasting work carried out by the NZ Transport Agency will be "popped" today to ensure it won't slide onto the road into Milford Sound.

NZ Transport Agency senior network manager Peter Robinson said workers had been doing scaling work since they blasted the hillside in June. The agency removed 2000 tonnes of unstable rock from the area in June.

"A high-magnitude blast like the one used to remove this rock usually causes the rock behind the blast zone to slowly relax and is likely to create some more loose debris over time," Mr Robinson said.

The final stage of the project is to blow up a large boulder that was exposed by the blasting work, which will be carried out tonight.

Mr Robinson said workers had drilled holes in the rock in recent weeks and will "pop" it today about 6pm.

State Highway 94 will be closed at the western entrance to the Homer Tunnel from 5.30pm and is expected to reopen within a few hours, he said.

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- The Southland Times

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