Minister opens Tasman Valley Rd

01:07, Sep 17 2014
Nick Smith
SAFER PASSAgE: A bit of snow wasn’t going to stop the official opening of the newly sealed Tasman Valley Rd yesterday. Conservation Minister Nick Smith was in the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park to do the honours and open the 8-kilometre stretch of seal.

Conservation Minister Nick Smith yesterday opened the $3 million upgrade of Tasman Valley Road at Aoraki/Mount Cook.

The upgrade was intended to improve the safety and accessibility of the scenic area.

"This new road will enable over 100,000 visitors annually to enjoy the magnificent mountain, lake and glacial views of the Tasman Valley, and the unique flora and fauna, including mountain lilies and daisies, and our unique mountain parrot, the kea," Smith said.

The upgrade was a partnership project between the Department of Conservation and the New Zealand Transport Agency.

The original road ran over a dangerous and busy 2.2 km bluff section, Smith said.

That had been moved and realigned to run along the Tasman Valley floor, following the contours of the Blue Stream. There was now less chance of motorists being exposed to rockfalls and avalanches.

"I encourage many New Zealanders and other visitors to the area to make good use of this new road, and enjoy one of the great sights our country has to offer," he said.

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