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Central Interceptor micro-tunnel boring machine prepares for 722 m drive back

Watercare’s $1.2 billion Central Interceptor tunnelling project has successfully been tunnelling beneath the street of central Auckland, New Zealand.

Two weeks before Christmas last year, the company celebrated its micro-tunnel boring machine, Domenica, broke through to the Haycock Ave shaft in Mt Roskill.

To complete this first drive she travelled almost a kilometre since her launch from May Road in June.
Watercare said this was a great milestone for the project, the first of many breakthroughs to come, as it wrapped up a very challenging year.

Domenica has now been removed from the shaft and transported to Watercare’s Dundale Avenue site.
It is now being reassembled, ready to launch on her 722 m drive back towards the site at Haycock Avenue.

Once complete in 2026, the Central Interceptor will store and transport both stormwater and wastewater to Watercare’s Māngere Wastewater Treatment Plant, preventing wet-weather overflows and significantly cleaning up Auckland’s waterways.

In addition, the final gantry section of the Central Interceptor’s main mTBM ‘Hiwa-i-te-Rangi’ was lowered into place in November.

Deep underground Hiwa-i-te-Rangi moves relentlessly forward.
Image: Watercare

This now makes her full length some 190 metres. She’s now making her way north from the company’s main site and will soon pass under Ambury Park in Māngere.

Hiwa-i-te-Rangi should reach the southern shore of the Manukau Harbour in August which will be another cause for celebration.

For more information visit the Watercare website. 

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