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SH94 Milford Road rockfall risk

Updated: 11 February 2014

The Milford Road is now open 24/7 with traffic signals operating between 6am and 8pm at the Homer Tunnel. For the latest on the status of the road go to www.highwayinfo.govt.nz or phone 0800 44 44 49.

Successful blast of the unstable rock.

Successful blast of the unstable rock.

News updates

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.

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News updates

Contact us

Peter Robinson
NZ Transport Agency Southland Area Manager
Mobile 021 575 239
Email peter.robinson@nzta.govt.nz

Photographs

June 2013

Diamond face pinnacle.

Diamond face pinnacle (click to see larger image).

View from the top. GEOVERT Ltd staff operating the drilling rig on Wednesday 5th June at about 1700m above sea level. The Milford Road can be seen in the background.

View from the top. GEOVERT Ltd staff operating the drilling rig on Wednesday 5th June at about 1700m above sea level. The Milford Road can be seen in the background (click to see larger image).

The pinnacle removal team hard at work. The orange boxes are compressors for the drilling operation. This can be seen to the right of the picture amongst the dust cloud.

The pinnacle removal team hard at work. The orange boxes are compressors for the drilling operation. This can be seen to the right of the picture amongst the dust cloud (click to see larger image).

May 2013

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.

Establishment of drilling equipment on the eastern side of Mount Moir needed to stabilise the Diamond Pinnacle high above the western entrance to the Homer Tunnel.

Establishment of drilling equipment on the eastern side of Mount Moir needed to stabilise the Diamond Pinnacle high above the western entrance to the Homer Tunnel. (click to see larger image).

The same site after the snow storm.

The same site after the snow storm. (click to see larger image).

The specialist rock stabilisation team carrying out preparatory drilling work on the Diamond Pinnacle.

The specialist rock stabilisation team carrying out preparatory drilling work on the Diamond Pinnacle. (click to see larger image).

The same site after the snow storm.

The same site after the snow storm (click to see larger image).

Rock fall area with the section that broke off.

Rock fall area with the section that broke off (click to see larger image).

Rock fall start zone.

Rock fall start zone (click to see larger image).

Diamond face pinnacle markings.

Diamond face pinnacle markings (click to see larger image).

Diamond face access line above.

Diamond face access line above (click to see larger image).

February 2013

Entrance to temporary portal extension.

Entrance to temporary portal extension at the western entrance of the Homer Tunnel (click to see larger image).

January 2013

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.

Red light inside the Homer Tunnel.

Red light inside the Homer Tunnel (click to see larger image).



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.

Temporary portal extension.

Temporary portal extension (click to see larger image).

Temporary portal extension.

Temporary portal extension (click to see larger image).

Temporary portal extension.

Temporary portal extension (click to see larger image).

The first tunnel module being manoeuvred into place at the western entrance of the Homer Tunnel.

The first tunnel module being manoeuvred into place at the western entrance of the Homer Tunnel (click to see larger image).

Worker fixing the first tunnel module into place.

Worker fixing the first tunnel module into place (click to see larger image).

The first temporary portal module beings its trip to the tunnel entrance.

The first temporary portal module beings its trip to the tunnel entrance (click to see larger image).



October to December 2012 closure

The red slip taken on 16 October 2012.

The red slip taken on 16 October 2012 (click to see larger image).

Full red slip site area on 16 October 2012.

Full red slip site area on 16 October 2012 (click to see larger image).

Red slip rock catch bunds.

Red slip rock catch bunds on 20 December 2012 (click to see larger image).

Red slip rock catch bunds cut as they looked on 20 December 2012.

Red slip rock catch bunds cut as they looked on 20 December 2012 (click to see larger image).

Buses waiting at the eastern entrance of the Homer Tunnel.

Buses waiting at the eastern entrance of the Homer Tunnel (click to see larger image).

Vehicles heading to Milford Sound through the tunnel.

Vehicles heading to Milford Sound through the tunnel (click to see larger image).

Western entrance to Homer Tunnel.

Western entrance to Homer Tunnel (click to see larger image).

Western exit of the Homer Tunnel.

Western exit of the Homer Tunnel (click to see larger image).

Rockfall after the snow has melted.

Rockfall after the snow has melted (click to see larger image).

Size of rocks that fell to the road from the Red slip at the Chasm.

Size of rocks that fell to the road from the Red slip at the Chasm (click to see larger image).