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Major task ahead to move near record snowfalls on SH94
Milford Road

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The NZ Transport Agency says it could be the weekend before a large part of State Highway (SH94) to Milford Sound re-opens after sustained heavy snowfalls in the area since last week.

The NZ Transport Agency says it could be the weekend before a large part of State Highway (SH94) to Milford Sound re-opens after sustained heavy snowfalls in the area since last week.

SH94 from the Hollyford turn-off to Milford Sound was closed by heavy snow last Friday. Now nearly half of the 120km long highway is snow bound.

NZTA Otago-Southland State Highways Manager Niclas Johansson says based on the weather forecasts and the avalanche risk, Saturday is the earliest the road is likely to re-open. The NZTA’s Milford Avalanche Programme is monitoring risk levels from the ever increasing amounts of snow. Since the road closed last Friday there have been several avalanches. While none have reached the road the wind blasts they have created have hurled tree debris onto the highway.

A combination of some of the heaviest snowfalls seen in the area in decades and severe gales are hampering efforts by the NZTA’s Milford Area Contractor Downer Ltd to get the road open as soon as possible.

Niclas Johansson said the NZTA understood motorist’s frustration and asked for their patience while work continues to clear the snow.

“We are doing everything we can, but the weather is such that overnight snow is filling in the areas cleared the previous day.”

It important to keep snow off the road otherwise it becomes glaciated ice like and is almost impossible to shift.

Anyone considering using this highway is urged to call 0800 4HIGHWAY for road updates first or go to www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link)

For more information please contact:

Bob Nettleton
Regional Communications Advisor
T DDI 03 951 3005    
M 021 954 928    
Email bob.nettleton@nzta.govt.nz

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