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The Waterview Connection Project

New Zealand Roads (Waterview Connection)
Why Build the Waterview Connection

The Waterview Connection is a roading project being built in Auckland. It will finish the Western Ring Route around Auckland city. This is New Zealand’s biggest ever roading project.

New Zealand’s largest roading project

The biggest road project in New Zealand is being built right now in Auckland. This project is called the Waterview Connection. 4.8km of six lane motorway will be built.

The connection or link will be between Auckland’s Southwestern Motorway and Northwestern Motorway. Almost half of this motorway is underground, in New Zealand’s longest and deepest road tunnels.

The 1.4 billion dollar project involves:

  • Designing, building and managing two 2.4km long, 13m wide tunnels 
  • Joining the tunnels to the motorway network 
  • Work on the Great North Road motorway interchange so it can join the tunnels and SH16

Work started in early 2012 and the Waterview Connection will be finished by early 2017. 

The tunnels will be up to 45 metres below Avondale and Waterview. The tunnels will be made by a tunnel boring machine (TBM) built just for the Waterview tunnels. 

The tunnel boring machine

The tunnel boring machine;

  • cuts a round tunnel of 14m wide (as high as a four-storey building)
  • it is the 10th biggest ever used in the world
  • it will take two years to finish the two tunnels
  • it will line the tunnel with concrete segments as it goes
  • it will dig out over 800,000 cubic metres of earth.

Working together

Most construction projects are done by different groups or oganisations working on their own on different tasks. The Waterview Connection Project is different because groups have come together to work as an alliance with common goals. This alliance is called the Well-Connected Alliance and includes the NZ Transport Agency and six other companies.

Well-Connected AllianceReady for a quiz?


Audio Māori keywords: 

Why do you think the motorway is going underground when it would be cheaper to build the road above ground?

The Waterview Connection Project. Image: NZTA.

An artist's impression of the tunnels. Image: NZTA.

Work on the Waterview Connection tunnels. Image: NZTA.

New Zealand Roads (Waterview Connection)
Why Build the Waterview Connection