OPINION: I would like to add my two bob's worth to the proposed Haast- Hollyford road construction argument.
I am totally supportive of the new road, and I fail to see how it could be detrimental to Te Anau's existence as is frequently alluded to by Geoff Thomson, owner of the Distinction Hotels.
I believe the road would bring far more ''freedom'' travellers to Te Anau and in turn to other towns on the Southern Scenic Route, and also Mossburn, Lumsden, Garston etc.
Te Anau would get the opportunity to take on board the tourists who opt to ''drive New Zealand'' and come to see our spectacular scenery.
The West Coast provides some of the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand, and the Haast- Hollyford road could only add to their experiences.
The drive through the new route would be quite stunning.
Te Anau overnight stopover numbers have declined dramatically due to two reasons: our failure to sell ourselves out there to the world, and the intermittent and often unscheduled Milford road closures. I have a plan to rectify the road closures.
Construct the Haast-Hollyford road and at the same time drill a tunnel from the Hollyford turnoff to the bottom of the zig zags (Murrells Bridge) on the Milford side of the Homer Tunnel.
This would then make the Milford Road an ''open'' 24/7, 365-days-of-the-year trip.
No more rock falls to worry about or avalanche bombing and the resultant road closures for clearing etc, or tunnel widening plans either.
There would be no turning back for the motorists, or Te Anau.
And another trump card; use all the rock from the tunnel excavation for the new road foundations thus avoiding the unsightly stockpiles that are proposed by the Glenorchy tunnel submitters option.
Get behind the road Te Anau and Southland people. You surely need it.
- The Southland Times
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