fbpx The Waterview Connection Project | LEARNZ

The Waterview Connection Project

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

The Waterview Connection is being built in Auckland to complete the Western Ring Route. This is New Zealand’s biggest ever roading project.

New Zealand’s largest roading project

The biggest road project in New Zealand is currently underway in west Auckland. This project is called the Waterview Connection. The project involves building a 4.8km, six lane motorway connection.

The connection will be between Auckland’s Southwestern Motorway (State Highway 20) and Northwestern Motorway (State Highway 16). Almost half of this connection 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, 13.1m diameter tunnels 
  • Connecting the tunnels to the existing motorway network 
  • Expanding the Great North Road motorway interchange to provide connections between the tunnels and SH16

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

The tunnels will be up to 45 metres below Avondale and Waterview. Tunnelling will be by a tunnel boring machine designed and built just for the Waterview tunnels. 

The tunnel boring machine

 The tunnel boring machine;

  • has a cutting head measuring just over 14m (as large as a four-storey building)
  • it is the 10th biggest ever used in the world
  • it will take two years to complete its underground journey from Ōwairaka to Waterview and back
  • it will place 24,040 tunnel lining segments as it goes
  • it will excavate 800,000 cubic metres of soil.

Working together

Most construction projects are completed by different groups or oganisations working separately 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.

The Well-Connected Alliance is made up of;

  • the NZ Transport Agency
  • Fletcher Construction
  • McConnell Dowell
  • Parsons Brinkerhoff
  • Beca
  • Tonkin & Taylor
  • Japanese construction company Obayashi Corporation.

Well-Connected Alliance

Ready 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