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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says the Milford Road, SH94, will remain closed until at least next week given the damage from torrential rain and ongoing moving slips.

“Rain has continued to fall in very large volumes, and the ground conditions remain very unstable,” says Peter Brown Transport Agency Journey Manager.

“A bridge inspection team will continue working on State Highway 94 tomorrow, and we have confirmed that some bridge repairs will need to be completed before the highway can be safely re-opened. While this work will be carried out as quickly as is safely possible, our immediate focus is on establishing the extent of the damage and prioritising which repair work will be carried out first.”

Mr Brown says SH6 will also remain closed overnight between Frankton and Lumsden, with two slips blocking the road north of Kingston. Work to clear SH6 is expected to get underway on Wednesday, with better weather conditions forecast. SH6 is also affected by surface flooding at a number of other locations and drivers are urged to take extra care and avoid unnecessary travel in the area.

Mr Brown adds that while the Milford Alliance team and Downer contractors from Southland and Otago have the resources and capability to get the job done, the safety of workers is the Transport Agency’s top priority, and repairs can only be carried out when conditions permit the work to be undertaken safely.

“As soon as the weather lifts and ground conditions are safe our contractors will get stuck in. We know how important these highway routes are to the region, and our focus is on re-opening the roads as quickly as possible.”

A number of other highways in the area are also currently closed due to the severe weather affecting the region:

  • SH 1 Gore to Clinton – Due to surface flooding, SH1 from Gore to Clinton is CLOSED.
  • SH 1 Mataura to Gore – Due to flooding SH1 between Glendhu Rd and Charlton Rd is CLOSED.
  • SH 90 McNab to Tapanui, from SH1 intersection to Station Rd – Due to flooding, this section of State Highway 90 is CLOSED between SH1 and Station Rd.
  • SH 97 Mossburn to SH 6 intersection – Due to surface flooding, SH97 is CLOSED.

For regular daily updates, please ensure you are on the Christchurch Transport Operations Centre’s email list – email tfc@tfc.govt.nz and request South Island wide advisories.

Check the NZTA’s web maps for the latest information on closures and delays points.

Background

SH94, was closed yesterday between Casade Creek and West Gate (the Chasm). A state of emergency for the Fiordland community board area was declared by Southland Civil Defence yesterday afternoon.

Evacuations of people from Milford Sound Piopiotahi is being managed by Southland Civil Defence Emergency Management.

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with:

MIL OSI