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Delivering national benefits with a local focus

Updated: 16 June 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.

Traffic in the tunnel. A long slog. Great North Road interchange. Great North Road interchange at night. Northern tunnel portals. Southern portal. Tunnel culvert. On board Alice. Tunnel culvert backfilled. Tunnel lining production. Tunnel spoil conveyor.

Where's Alice?

Tunnel Boring Machine, Alice, began her journey to build the twin 2.4km Waterview tunnels in November 2013.  The graphics below showing her progress are updated every fortnight*. 

Alice's journey map.

Progress bar.
*Visual representation only

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.

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Waterview Connection flythrough video.

Waterview Connection:

Freephone 0508 TUNNEL (886635)

Latest project update

Issue 4 July 2014 (PDF, 327KB)

Quick Waterview Connection 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) (11th largest ever TBM)

Completion: Early 2017

Project cost: NZ$1.4B

Delivery by: Well Connected Alliance - Transport Agency; Fletcher Construction; McConnell Dowell; Parsons Brinckerhoff; Beca; Tonkin & Taylor; Obayashi; Wilson Tunnelling; SICE