DRILLING OF TUNNEL
Preparations are complete for the attack on one of the most difficult phases of the Milford Road construction job—the driving of a tunnel through the Homer Saddle at a height of 3400 ft above sea level. The men working under the Public Works Department have finished the approach cut, and everything is ready for the underground drive, a "Post" reporter was informed today. Before this is actually commenced, the cut has to be lined with concrete, as a protection against avalanches and landslides, which are liable to occur at any time in this region.
No extraordinary engineering difficulties are anticipated on the slow journey through the solid hill. For the first hundred feet of the main drive there will be broken country to negotiate—"scree," they call it in technical jargon—and at the outlet end there will be a similar stretch encountered. After penetraitng the loose rock, the drills will strike solid granite.
The tunnel will be 4000 ft in length, arid will connect the en dof the Hollyford Valley to the beginning of the Cleddau Valley, which leads down into the Milford Sound. A grade of one in ten has to be followed in drilling the tunnel, so that the outlet at the Cleddau end will be 400 ft lower than the mouth of the tunnel. This grade continues for the first six miles out of the tunnel.
A hydro-electric plant will supply the power to operate the compressed air drills, twelve of which will be in use at a time. The power plant is situated about six miles from the scene of operations. Owing to the impossibility of transferring materials and plant into the Cleddau Valley section of the road, the tunnel drive can be made only from the one end.
It is expected that it will be the end of 1937 before the 72 miles of rood from To Anau to Milford is completed, thouph the tunnel will probably be thro-'<-h before then. Already a Wretch of CO miles has been finished.
When the road has been cut risht through, it will open up yome of the finest fnro?t and mountain scenery in the Dominion. Those competent ti "'.m?p ii<= noientialities are Cinvirscei Mint it will nrovs an unec"i?lled tourist attraction, and that the tourist revenue will show a handsome return on the capital cost of the undertaking.
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MILFORD ROAD, Evening Post, Volume CXX, Issue 129, 27 November 1935
MILFORD ROAD Evening Post, Volume CXX, Issue 129, 27 November 1935
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