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Waterview Connection 2015 Update

Managing impacts of tunnel construction
Waterview Connection 2016 Update

2014 was a massive year for the Waterview Connection Project and 2015 will be even bigger as a huge amount of work needs to be completed by the end of the year.

The main construction in 2015 involves building the second Waterview Connection tunnel and completing the ramps on to the Great North Road Interchange.

Earlier this year Alice was successfully turned around so she could start this second tunnel. Find out more about Alice's turnaround - PDF.

What’s happening in 2015


  • Construction starts on Ramp 4, which will take traffic from the tunnels onto the eastbound lane towards the city.


  • Reopening of the Ernie Pinches footbridge to the public.


  • Completion of Alice’s big turnaround and the start of tunnelling for the northbound tunnel
  • Construction starts on the tunnels’ 16 cross passages.


  • Work to commence on Waterview Reserve playground
  • Reopen Valonia Street to the public
  • Start planting of over 250,000 new plants alongside the new motorway.


  • First cross passage breakthrough connecting the two tunnels.


  • Stage 2 backfill and drainage construction in northbound tunnel.


  • Southern Vent Building to be completed.


  • Tunnelling completed
  • Ramp 4 on the Great North Road Interchange completed.

During the second Waterview Connection field trip

Last year you met Alice the Tunnel Boring Machine on her journey to create the southbound tunnel. During this year’s field trip you will see Alice at work on the northbound tunnel. You will investigate the construction of the Great North Road Interchange and meet Dennis the gantry machine. Dennis makes it possible for work to be done high above a busy motorway.

The northern construction zone

During the field trip you will be looking at construction at the northern end of the Waterview Connection Project. 

Northern construction includes:

  • A trench (called the Northern Approach Trench) to take traffic to and from the tunnel portals, which will be 26 metres below the surface
  • This Northern Approach Trench is being constructed as a cut and cover tunnel
  • A ventilation station at the exit to house tunnel services including the fans that draw in air from the tunnel and transfer it to a vent stack approximately 120m away
  • The vent stack
  • Four new ramps at the Great North Road motorway interchange to provide connections between the tunnels and SH16.


Audio Māori keywords: 

What machinery do you think you will see on the field trip and how might this compare to the machinery found on other road construction sites. What does this make you wonder about the future of New Zealand's road network?

Once Alice the Tunnel Boring Machine finished boring the first tunnel she had to be turned around to start work on the second tunnel. This, along with maintenance work took nearly six months. Image: NZTA.

The Northern Approach Trench is being built as a cut and cover tunnel. How is this different from the southern tunnel entrance? Image: NZTA.

The Great North Road Interchange will connect traffic from different areas to the tunnels. How is this interchange being built? Image: NZTA.

Dennis is a large, yellow gantry crane used to work high above a busy motorway. Can you find out how Dennis got his name? Image: NZTA.

Managing impacts of tunnel construction
Waterview Connection 2016 Update