23 Jun 2013

Road to Milford Sound reopens

5:15 pm on 23 June 2013

The road to Milford Sound has reopened for the first time in a month after engineers confirmed it is safe from rockfalls.

The Transport Agency has been working on the area since early November when a rockfall closed the road.

The agency's Southland area manager, Peter Robinson, says a 2000 tonne rock pinnacle above the western entrance to the Homer Tunnel was blasted to stabilise the area earlier this month.

He says wintry weather prevented crews from inspecting the site until Saturday, and they removed several more large rocks which were poised to fall.

"Some of the rocks that they took down were quite big - one rock was about a metre and a half square by half a metre thick and that was just poked out with little rods so that was just sitting there ready to fall so it was well worth doing what we had to do."

A steel structure extending from the tunnel entrance will remain until it's clear the road is safe from falling rocks.

Several cameras are monitoring the rockfall site but the road will be closed at night as it cannot be monitored in the dark.