Microtunnelling, Pipe jacking, Tunnelling

Alice completes her first 250 m at Waterview

NZ Transport Agency Auckland Highways Manager Tommy Parker said that after a cautious start last year, Alice has just passed the 250 m mark on her south-north journey from Owairaka to Waterview. She has 2,150 m to go to complete her first run.

On the single best day of tunnelling to date, Alice excavated 22 m of tunnel and installed the giant concrete rings that form the tunnel’s wall.

“Alice went through a careful probation period while the team operating her familiarised itself with the systems and processes involved in a complex project of this size,” said Mr Parker.

The tunnel boring machine (TBM) will build twin 2.4 km-long tunnels, both 13.1 m in diameter, over the next two years to connect Auckland’s Southwestern and Northwestern motorways as part of the city’s Western Ring Route, one of the Government’s flagship Roads Of National Significance. Each tunnel will carry three lanes of motorway traffic.

The TBM is due to complete construction at the end of 2015 and the tunnels open to traffic in early 2017.

The Waterview Connection project is New Zealand’s biggest-ever road project. It will deliver a 5 km, six-lane motorway connection, half of which will be underground. As well as completing the Western Ring Route, the Waterview Connection will provide a direct motorway link between the CBD and Auckland International Airport.

The project is being delivered by the Well-Connected Alliance which includes the Transport Agency, Fletcher Construction, McConnell Dowell, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Beca Infrastructure, Tonkin & Taylor and Japanese construction company Obayashi Corporation. Sub-alliance partners are Auckland-based Wilson Tunnelling and Spanish tunnel controls specialists SICE.

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