Stretch of Hollyford Rd should reopen by Christmas

The road was extensively damaged during the February floods. Photo: NZTA
The road was extensively damaged during the February floods. Photo: NZTA
The first 11km section of the flood-damaged Lower Hollyford Rd should be repaired and open by December 20.

A meeting of key stakeholders, including NZ Transport Agency, Southland District Council, Ngai Tahu and the Department of Conservation agreed this morning to start work as soon as possible - NZTA has funding of up to $400,000 available for the work.

There was still, however, another 5km to be repaired, which was extensively damaged during the February floods.

NZTA Otago Southland system manager Graeme Hall said a working group, comprising stakeholder representatives, would discuss options for the final section - that could include reinstatement of that section of the road, estimated to cost at least $2 million, or identifying alternative access.

"The key partners who met today agreed that the working group will investigate the options for the last 5km of this access road to the Hollyford Track and report back mid-October.

"We need to review more closely the cost of reinstating this section which was significantly damaged in February and we need to explore the alternative options for access to the start of the track,” Mr Hall said.

All transport partners were acutely aware the road connected to the Ngai Tahu pounamu/greenstone trail and its associated tourism businesses linked to the trail.

Mr Hall said it was important to reach a "workable outcome'' for Ngai Tahu and other road and track users.

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