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Severe weather warning prompts closure of Milford Road

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A severe weather warning has prompted the NZ Transport Agency to close the Milford Rd overnight less than 12 hours after it re-opened.

A severe weather warning has prompted the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to close the Milford Rd overnight less than 12 hours after it re-opened.

NZTA Southland Area Manager Peter Robinson says a severe weather warning for the Milford area for the evening of Monday 10th August will increase the avalanche risk to high so in the interests of road user safety, which is paramount, the decision was made to close SH94 (The Milford road) from 5pm tonight. The situation will be assessed again at 7.30am tomorrow.

“This move comes after 10 days of continuous closure due to extensive avalanche activity that had the road open for the first time at 8am today.  At the time of closure on 30 July the avalanche risk was high and it was unsafe to allow traffic into the area.  Both portals of the Homer Tunnel were buried by avalanche debris and contractors have removed more than 100,000 tonnes of debris from SH94 between the Hollyford turn off and the west side of the Homer Tunnel.  This clearance work was assisted by the stable weather.

Mr Robinson said the workers clearing the road established a link early Sunday afternoon and a convoy of supplies was escorted into Milford with some also taking the opportunity to come out of Milford on the convoy run back at 4:30pm.  With Milford restocked they were ready for the early opening today.  Closures of this duration due to avalanche activity have not occurred for the last 5-6 years and are completely related to snow conditions and weather patterns

The latest information on SH94 road conditions is available at www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link) or by phoning 0800 44 44 49.

For more information please contact:

Bob Nettleton
Regional Communications Advisor
T  DDI 03 951 3005   
M  021 954 928   
F   03 951 3013
E-mail bob.nettleton@nzta.govt.nz

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