The NZ Transport Agency says it is pleased with the first
blast carried out yesterday as part of a programme to remove
a 2000 tonne section of unstable rock above the western
entrance of the Homer Tunnel.
This blast is part of a programme to demolish the rock which
posed such a high risk to road users, that the NZ Transport
Agency (NZTA) has closed the Milford Road from the eastern
tunnel entrance since May 23.
NZTA Southland Area Manager Peter Robinson says a quick
initial aerial inspection following the blast showed a
substantial amount of rock came down, but with the light
fading at the site it wasn't possible to take a close-up
An on-site inspection is planned for the next patch of clear
weather, possibly on Monday.
"None of the tunnel infrastructure was damaged in the blast
including a temporary portal extension that opened in
February. This result has exceeded our expectations and it's
a huge relief to get the amount of rock off mountainside that
A total 2km exclusion zone including air space was in place
around the blast site today, with road closures in place 5km
on either side of the Homer Tunnel.