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'Alice’ the TBM ready to ship out

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The bags are packed, the route’s been planned and now ‘Alice’ the Tunnel Boring Machine is ready to ship out.

Main Drive of the TBM packaged up and waiting to be shipped outMain Drive of the TBM packaged up and waiting to be shipped out

The largest sections of the TBM which helped excavate the twin tunnels at the Waterview Connection are being transported to the Ports of Auckland this week. 

From there the sections will be returned to the German manufacturer.

The NZ Transport Agency says there will be one road closure to ensure the loads are moved safely through the city.

Motorists are also advised there may be some delays and to take extra care as the TBM sections are transported from Mt Roskill, through Mt Eden to the port.

A small section of Sandringham Road from O’Donnell Avenue to Gifford Avenue, will be closed from 9pm on Wednesday 3 February until 5am 4 February, to allow for the large loads to be moved safely.

The 270 tonne main drive, which is the heaviest section of the TBM, and the erector which is the widest part, will be moved overnight Wednesday.

A further large load, the Screw Conveyor which is the longest piece will be moved on Thursday night. This won’t require any road closures but there may be some delays.

The Transport Agency’s Auckland Highway Manager, Brett Gliddon says the Waterview team have been deconstructing her since the day after she successfully completed the second of the tunnels. It’s been a massive undertaking just taking her apart, but it’s now time to send her on her way.”

“Alice was designed specifically for the size and conditions at Waterview and she isn’t suitable for any other projects in New Zealand. Her parts are being sold back to the German manufacturer.”

The Transport Agency plans to open the tunnels and the adjacent Great North Road Interchange in early 2017.

For more information about the Waterview Connection visit www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/waterviewconnection(external link) or www.facebook.com/alicetbm(external link)   

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