Aucklanders have quickly snapped up the tickets available for their once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the huge machine that will bore the Waterview motorway tunnels.
All 20,000 tickets for the public open day being held at the Waterview Connection project this Sunday (13 October) have been allocated – nearly half of them went within 24 hours of becoming available.
“The demand reflects the huge interest in this project – not just here in Auckland but internationally too as people want to know more about the scale of the project and the engineering innovation and skill being used to complete it,” says the NZ Transport Agency’s State Highway Manager, Tommy Parker.
The $1.4b Waterview Connection project is the largest roading project ever undertaken in New Zealand. Alice, the tenth largest tunnel boring machine in the world, has been assembled in the southern approach to the tunnels being built to connect Auckland’s Southwestern and Northwestern motorways to complete a 47 kilometre-long link between Manukau and Albany called the Western Ring Route, one of the Government’s seven roads of national significance.
Sunday’s open day is the only opportunity people will have to see Alice in her pristine state. At the end of October, she is due to begin her two-year underground journey from Owairaka to Waterview and back to construct the 2.4km twin tunnels, each of which will carry three lanes of traffic.
Visitors will walk into the 30-metre deep trench to see Alice up close, and also see some of the other work completed so far on the project. The specially built walkway at the project site crosses some rough ground, making sturdy, closed-toe footwear a requirement for entry.
The Transport Agency reminds people who have tickets to use public transport if they can or, if they come by car, be prepared for a good walk to the open day entrance in Barrymore Road, Owairaka. A free shuttle service will operate from Mt Albert Railway Station to the site from 9.10am. Further details here(external link).
Local Rotary Club volunteers will take a gold coin collection, which will be shared between the Cancer Society and local charities.
For more information please contact:
Auckland/Northland Media Manager
NZ Transport Agency
T: 09 928 8720
M: 027 213 7616