Rock fall site close to getting the all-clear
The majority of the unstable rock high above the Homer Tunnel that caused major disruptions on the Milford Road during the first half of 2013 has now been removed.
Much of the 2,000 tonne section of unstable rock at the site was successfully blasted in June last year, with further blasting in January 2014, removing the remaining rocks.The biggest surviving rocks from the June 2013 blast were about 10 metres in diameter and were removed in the latest blast, to prevent from sliding on to the road below.
While the first blast took out more unstable rock than expected, further blasting was always planned over summer to remove the remaining loose rock. Further geotechnical inspections will be made before the site gets the final all clear.
A decision on the future of the temporary portal extension installed in February 2013 to improve rock fall protection for road users at the western entrance to the Homer Tunnel is expected to be made before the middle of this year.
Click here for the latest on the Current Milford Road status.
On this page
- 10 September 2013 - media release
- 23 June 2013 - media release
- 14 June 2013 - media release
- 7 June 2013 - media release
- 7 June 2013 (PDF, 22KB)
- 20 May 2013 - media release
- April 2013 (PDF, 38 KB)
- 15 February 2013 (PDF, 45KB)
- 23 January 2013 (PDF, 43KB)
- 23 January 2013 - media release
- 9 January 2013 - media release
- 8 January 2013 - media release
- 4 January 2013 (PDF, 18KB)
- 28 December 2012 (PDF, 22KB)
- 24 December 2012 (PDF, 36KB)
NZ Transport Agency Southland Area Manager
Mobile 021 575 239
These photos graphically illustrate how quickly and dramatically the weather changes at the Diamond Pinnacle where a section of unstable needs to be removed to ensure road user safety at the western entrance to the Homer Tunnel. The before photos were taken on Friday 24 May 2013 when the compressors and drill rig were established on site. Just five days later on 29 May 2013 after a major storm this is how the same areas of the site looked.
As you are heading towards Milford you will travel through the Homer tunnel. This 1.2km tunnel means another 20 to 30 minutes to Milford Sound. Due to the current rockfall risk we have set up a safety traffic light facing into the tunnel. Should this light be red it is important that traffic stop as you do for any red light. A red light means rocks are falling from above the tunnel.
January 2013 - Temporary portal extension for Homer Tunnel
Work has started on the installation of a temporary portal extension at the Homer Tunnel on State Highway 94, as part of the agency’s efforts to improve safety for road users at a rock fall site in an area high above the western entrance of the tunnel.