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SH20 Waterview Connection

Underway in west Auckland is the Waterview Connection project to join up State Highways 16 and 20 via a 4.8km, six-lane motorway, half of which will run underground. This link will complete the Western Ring Route, at last giving Auckland an alternative to State Highway 1 and the harbour bridge for travel through and within the region. The Waterview Connection will also create a direct motorway link between the central business district and international airport. It is New Zealand’s biggest road project ever, with a construction budget of $1.4billion.

All projects

The route the Waterview Connection is taking..

The route the Waterview Connection is taking.


  • Part of

    Western Ring Route, road of national significance
  • Estimated completion date

  • Location

    From the end of State Highway 20 at Maioro Street in Owairaka to State Highway 16 at Waterview.
  • Project type

    Roads of national significance
  • Project status

  • Project contact

    Mark Johnson
  • Estimated cost

    $100 million +
  • Project website

Project purpose

The Waterview Connection will complete the Western Ring Route, a 48km motorway route between Manukau in the south and Albany north of Auckland via State Highways 20, 16 and 18. It will bypass central Auckland to the west, therefore ending Auckland’s reliance on a single motorway spine – SH1 and the Auckland Harbour Bridge - for road travel through and within the region.


Completing the Western Ring Route has been prioritised as a Road of National Significance because of the significant contribution it will make to the future prosperity of New Zealand's largest and fastest growing city. It will provide Auckland with a resilient and reliable motorway network by reducing dependence on State Highway 1 and the Auckland Harbour Bridge for business to business trips, access to markets and jobs, and personal travel.

By connecting up the Southwestern and Northwestern motorways, the Waterview Connection will create a direct motorway link between the central business district and the Auckland International Airport. The project's urban design initiatives – new recreational facilities, upgraded parks and greatly improved cycling and walking connections - will unlock the potential of local communities as attractive, desirable places to live.


4.8km of new 6-lane motorway including:

  • Two 2.4kn long bored tunnels up to 45m beneath Avondale and Waterview
  • Surface motorway connections between the tunnels and SH 20 at the southern (Owairaka) end and SH16 at the northern (Waterview) end
  • Building new ramps to connect the tunnels to SH16 at the Great North Road motorway interchange
  • Construction of a new motorway overbridge on Richardson Road
  • Completing the Maioro Street motorway interchange to enable traffic to enter or leave SH20 at Owairaka
  • Realignment of major services away from the motorway route, including diversion and enhancement of the Oakley Creek in Alan Wood Reserve, Owairaka
  • Future proofing a surface route for rail, to enable construction of the Avondale to Southdown rail link and its electrification

Local community improvements including:

  • Improved walking and cycling links including a surface cycleway from Waterview to Owairaka to connect with the existing Mt Roskill cycleway
  • New sports fields, courts for basketball and volleyball and skateparks at both Waterview Reserve and Alan Wood Reserve in Owairaka
  • Extensive planting and landscaping to improve open space for nature as well as people
  • Oakley Creek enhanced with planting and landscaping
  • Historical sites and local flora and fauna protected

Delivering the Waterview Connection is the Well-Connected Alliance, comprising the NZ Transport Agency, Fletcher Construction, McConnell Dowell, Parsons Brinkerhoff, Beca, Tonkin & Taylor and Japanese construction company Obayashi Corporation.

Sub-alliance partners are Wilson Tunnelling and SICE NZ (Sociedad Iberica de Constructiones Electricas).