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Milford Road to re-open early this afternoon (Thursday 18 October)

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The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has confirmed the Milford Road between Falls Creek and Monkey Creek that was closed by a massive slip last Friday night will re-open today, Thursday 18 October 2012 at 1pm.

NZTA Area Manager Peter Robinson says this news is sure to be welcomed by both tourists and tour operators, who have been understanding and patient over the last five days while we have worked to get the road open. A single lane road has been successfully formed around the slip. It has the advantages of enabling slip clearing work to continue while allowing motorists to get through to Milford Sound.

“When the Milford Road re-opens it will be under full traffic control to enable slip clearance work to continue. Motorists can expect traffic delays of up to 30 minutes and should factor this into their travel plans. Staff at the slip site will take their rest breaks around the peak traffic flow times to minimise disruptions to road users.”

Peter Robinson says the road will be closed for the first 3 hours each morning as follows;

  • 7am to 10am - Full Closure (Hollyford turn off to the Chasm)
  • 11am to 5pm - Delays of up to 30 minutes (either side of slip)

Overnight closures are possible in the next few days and at 2pm each day we will review the overnight weather forecast and advise any closures. The avalanche hazard level is low at the moment, due to significant avalanche activity last week and the absence of any new snow Mr Robinson said.

An estimated 2,000m3 of debris have been removed from the slip site so far and 500kg of explosive used to blast away rocks, some weighing up to 500 tonne.  The latest information on this section of Milford Road can be found at www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link).

 

Blasting giant boulders in the slip

Boulder before blastingBefore

Boulder after blastingAfter

 

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