Final damaged section of Lower Hollyford Road to be repaired


Southland District Council is pleased to announce that Waka Kotahi has agreed to fund the repair of the last 3km of Lower Hollyford Road in Fiordland.

The road, which was severely damaged during the February floods, is owned by Southland District Council but is designated as a special purpose road, which means it attracts full funding by Waka Kotahi. The road leads to the start of the Department of Conservation’s Hollyford Track, and the Ngāi Tahu pounamu trail. 

At a meeting in September of key stakeholders Waka Kotahi, Southland District Council, DOC and Ngāi Tahu, Waka Kotahi agreed to restore 13km of the road under emergency work provisions. This work is under way and expected to be completed by 20 December 2020. 

The restoration of the remaining section of road has some extensive river erosion. The September meeting sought to review the necessary work required to ensure any repairs had a good, long-term resilience expectation. This work involves building rock armoury along sections on the lower Hollyford River and strengthening other river bank protection sites that were weakened by the February storm. This work proposal has now had a Geotech review and there is confidence that the restoration work planned will last and protect this road in further flood events. 

The work will be carried out by the Waka Kotahi Milford Alliance team, and will continue through the summer of 2020/2021, so that the road is ready for the summer tramping/hiking season in 2021/2022. The cost of this full restoration is estimated at $2.3 million. 

To ensure public safety and a speedy conclusion to this huge project, Lower Hollyford Road will remain closed for the duration of this work, enabling full, uninterrupted access by construction traffic, contractors and heavy machinery. 

Southland District Council strategic manager transport Hartley Hare says Council is grateful that Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has agreed to fund the restoration of the full length of Lower Hollyford Road, as it will place no burden on Southland District ratepayers.