Tunnel Boring Machine, Alice, began her journey to build the twin 2.4km Waterview tunnels in November 2013. She’s now at Waterview, having built the first tunnel. Early in 2015 she will begin the return trip to Owairaka, building the second tunnel as she goes.
The $1.4b Waterview Connection is the largest roading project ever undertaken in New Zealand. It involves construction of 4.8km of six-lane motorway to link State Highways 16 and 20 and therefore complete Auckland’s much needed Western Ring Route.
Half of this new motorway link will be underground in Australasia’s largest road tunnel, being constructed using a custom-built tunnel boring machine (TBM) called Alice. With a cutting diameter of 14.4m, it is the 10th largest machine of its kind ever built.
The Waterview Connection project reflects the Transport Agency’s commitment to providing lasting benefits to the communities directly affected by new infrastructure. It includes a suite of walking, cycling and landscaping improvements as well as new sports and recreation assets.
The project is being delivered by the Well-Connected Alliance, comprising the Transport Agency, Fletcher Construction, McConnell Dowell Constructors, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Beca Infrastructure, Tonkin and Taylor, and Japanese construction company Obayashi Corporation.
The Well-Connected Alliance has formed further partnerships with New Zealand pre-cast concrete suppliers Wilson Tunnelling and Spanish tunnel controls specialists SICE to manage the construction of the tunnel segments and long-term maintenance and operation.