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Delivering national benefits with a local focus

Updated: 8 October 2014

The Waterview Connection project is one of the most important infrastructure developments ever to take place in New Zealand. Completing a motorway ring route around the city, it will unlock Auckland’s potential to become a truly world class city, combatting regional congestion and creating a direct, time-saving link between the International Airport and CBD.

Brand new in China. Alice arriving. assembling Alice. Meeting Alice. Launching Alice. Alice's handiwork. On board Alice. Waiting for Alice. Alice about to breakthrough. Alice ends journey at Waterview.

Where's Alice?

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.

Turnaround Alice poster

Click on image to view larger file (PDF, 2.8MB).

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.

Quick facts

  • Project objective: Complete Western Ring Route
  • Project duration: 66 months
  • Length: 4.8km
  • Tunnel length: 2.4km
  • Tunnel diameter: 13.1m (twin tunnels)
  • Maximum depth: 45m
  • Tunnelling method: Earth Pressure Balance Machine (EPBM) (10th largest ever TBM)
  • Completion: Early 2017
  • Project cost: NZ$1.4B



Alice arrive at Water Connection

Waterview Connection:

Freephone 0508 TUNNEL (886635)

Latest project update

Special issue, October 2014 (PDF, 3.94MB)

Issue 7, October 2014 (PDF, 5.46MB)