Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency looks forward to reconnecting Milford Sound Piopiotahi for tourist bus travellers alongside essential service vehicles from this Friday.
Buses with eight seats* or more will be able to join the convoys from Friday.
Three return convoys are planned initially on a daily basis, subject to weather and/or urgent road repairs, says Transport Agency Journey Manager Peter Brown. These will be reviewed as repairs advance.
Self-driving people in campervans, cars or four-wheel drives are not able to get into Milford Sound Piopiotahi currently.
“A huge amount of work is underway on this highway and we are reasonably confident the tourist convoys for buses will run as planned Friday,” says Mr Brown. “By asking people to travel by bus, we minimise the time we need our crews to stop work.”
Torrential rain closed the highway (SH94) more than two weeksago between Cascade Creek/ the Hollyford turnoff and Milford Sound Piopiotahi.
To date convoys of essential services vehicles have run extremely well having started on Saturday, he says. Essential services convoys have run Tuesday, Wednesday and are planned for tomorrow also. (See slightly altered times below from what was previously scheduled.)
Access for travellers on buses will start this Friday, alongside the essential services vehicles. Buses with a minimum of eight seats will be able to join the full convoy at these times and places:
“We thank everyone for their patience while this essential work is underway. We are doing our best to restore this important link to Milford and crews are working hard to restore a safe route.”
If you are part of the essential services convoys or need to be in future, you should be getting the Milford Road Alliance update each day. If you are not getting this, please email Kevin.Thompson@milfordroad.co.nz and ask to be added to that list.
Essential services convoys** will run tomorrow, 20 February:
For updates on all Milford Sound Piopiotahi convoys and times, please check this link which will be updated regularly: https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/roadclosures/289618(external link)
*Originally the minimum seat number for buses was ten, since revised to eight.
** Who is eligible for the essential services convoys?
Vehicles and drivers who will be able to take part in the essential services convoys will involve people transporting the following items: Fuel, food, freight, septic/ rubbish disposal, trades goods. Also contractors, staff of Milford Sound businesses in vans or coaches, commercial fishing industry and associated trades, air traffic control personnel. Single axle trailers are OK, larger axles require approval. No pleasure boats.
Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with: