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contractors with service vehicles doing an inspection inside Homer tunnel

Project introduction

In July 2020 the Government announced a $25 million project to improve the safety and resilience of the Homer Tunnel on SH94 between Te Anau and Piopiotahi Milford Sound.

  • Estimated project dates

    Nov 2022–May 2024
  • Estimated project cost

    $25 million

Waka Kotahi and the Government’s Crown Infrastructure Partners are implementing safety improvements at the Homer Tunnel, a critical link on SH94 between Te Anau and the Milford Sound.

Stage 1: Work underway 

  • ‘Fire life’ safety systems installation including radar and incident detection cameras, active lighting, and barrier arms.
  • Improved remote tunnel monitoring from Te Anau.
  • Upgrading of the eastern tunnel portal area including dual-lane for winter traffic management
  • A new and safer viewing area for visitors.
  • An avalanche mitigation system and rockfall protection above the tunnel portal.
  • Specialised speakers have been installed allowing  the tunnel operations team to give directions and feedback to people inside the tunnel during emergencies, plus ‘live’ viewing inside the tunnel via CCTV systems.

Stage 2: Planned construction work 2022-2024

These will make the operation and use of the tunnel safer for both road users and maintenance crews. It involves replacing the existing avalanche shelter and equipment room at the eastern tunnel entrance. Both are at the end of their useful life and need upgrading.

Equipment room replacement - 2022/2023 summer season

The before and after photos below show the proposed new Buried Equipment Room at the eastern entrance to the Homer Tunnel that would replace the existing concrete building located behind the 30km/hr speed sign. The new building housing electronic equipment needed to run the tunnel will be buried to protect it and workers from both rockfall and avalanche damage, reduce the buildings visual  impact at this unique alpine location.

New avalanche shelter construction - 2023/2024 summer season

Visualisations showing the proposed new shelter to improve avalanche and rockfall protection at the eastern entrance to the Homer Tunnel. The shelter is designed to blend into the unique World Heritage Park surroundings.

For more information about this work email the project team at homertunnelsafety@nzta.govt.nz