Homer Tunnel closures needed for road resurfacing after long weekend

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 27, 2020

Motorists who use the Milford Road, State Highway 94, should plan for possible delays at the single-lane Homer Tunnel after Queen‘s Birthday weekend, says the NZ Transport Agency.

Work is scheduled for the following days and times:

  • Tuesday 2 June to Friday 5 June, 10.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4pm daily.

  • Monday 8 June to Friday 12 June, 1.30pm to 4.30pm and 6pm to 10pm daily.

NZTA Milford Road alliance manager Kevin Thompson says crews have been regularly patching potholes and re-levelling the tunnel road at several locations but the full tunnel surface now needs replacing – 1.2 km, to be milled out by 7 to 10cm and re-laid.

The interior of the Homer Tunnel showing previous patching of the road surface.

The NZTA is investing about $1m to re-asphalt the road through the tunnel, along with several nearby curves on the western/Milford Sound side of the tunnel. A mobile plant will operate near Te Anau to produce the asphalt needed for this work.

“To minimise disruptions for road users we are doing the work at a time when there is a lot less traffic using the Milford Road. Just how long it will take to complete this job depends on the number of winter weather disruptions work crews have to contend with,” says Thompson.

“Tunnel closures will be needed, and wherever possible these will be scheduled at night or when traffic volumes are very low. Closures will be advertised before the work starts so road users have time to plan their journey.

“As long as we have some prior notice, we can accommodate anyone needing urgent access through the tunnel,” he says.

People who have urgent deliveries or services during the planned closure times should email Milford Road Alliance or phone 03 249 7004 to let the alliance team know.

“We thank everyone who is inconvenienced by this work for being patient and bearing in mind the highway will be much better afterwards,” says Thompson.

2016 photo showing Homer Tunnel.