Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is opening State Highway 94 into Milford Sound Piopiotahi from Thursday this week (19 March) ending scheduled highway convoys, restrictions on types of vehicle and open/shut hours.
There will be a short stretch of highway on the east side of the Homer Tunnel from the Hollyford turnoff which will have Stop/Go traffic management and single lane sections requiring care, says Transport Agency Journey Manager Peter Brown. All vehicles will be able to use the road.
Mr Brown says given the potential lack of overseas visitors with the current COVID-19 concerns, easy access to regional holiday places like Milford Sound is all the more important.
“Milford Sound and wider Fiordland are open and if people are planning their upcoming school holidays after 9 April or Easter break, they can factor this choice in,” he says.
“We thank the community for their patience and urge everyone to follow the Ministry of Health advice on how to protect yourself(external link) and others from COVID-19.”
The highway will open at 8 am Thursday. All vehicles will be able to use the highway, buses, private vehicles, campervans and vehicles towing boats.
“The construction zone area will be controlled by Stop/Go manual traffic management. With numbers of vehicles on the highway reducing much faster than we would normally anticipate at this time of the year, crews can continue to make progress and still allow safe access.
“This change will affect our ability to repair the road as quickly as we were, but at this time, allowing access is an overriding need for this community. We hope to continue the open access through winter.”
Mr Brown says that, as always, weather and emergency road maintenance will still dictate whether the road is open or not. People can check the web link ahead of time but in general the aim is to ensure the highway will be open as much as it can be now and over the coming winter. https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/areawarnings/291706(external link)
Existing system for today and Wednesday
The system which started this week – open overnight to all comers, 5 pm to 7.30 am, and convoys from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm, will continue today and tomorrow.
Convoys into Milford Sound
Convoys out of Milford Sound
|8:30 am||East Gate (near Hollyford Rd intersection)||9:00 am||Monkey Creek|
|9:30 am||East Gate||10:00 am||Monkey Creek|
|10:30 am||East Gate||11:00 am||Monkey Creek|
|11:30 am||East Gate||12:00 midday||Monkey Creek|
|12:30 pm||East Gate||1:00 pm||Monkey Creek|
|1:30 pm||East Gate||2:00 pm||Monkey Creek|
|2:30 pm||East Gate||3:00 pm||Monkey Creek|
|3:30 pm||East Gate||4:00 pm||Monkey Creek|
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