Victoria Park Tunnel Breaks Through


Excavation of the Victoria Park motorway tunnel will reach an important milestone at 2pm on Monday when diggings north and south of Beaumont Street in central Auckland meet.

The breakthrough will make it possible to walk 300 metres within the tunnel trench - from the tunnel’s northern portal, under Beaumont Street and through Victoria Park to Victoria Street West.  It signals the halfway point of construction of the ‘cut and cover’ tunnel structure.

With a very large hole in the ground through Victoria Park and at the Fanshawe Street motorway on ramp, motorists are now able to see what they are getting in terms of increased motorway capacity. However, the view will be brief as the hole is being covered over almost as quickly as it appears.

Approximately 168 of the tunnel’s 360 30-tonne roof beams are now in place and last week the first section of tunnel roof was completely closed in.  Also, the seventh of the tunnel’s 52 floor slabs was poured last week.

s more sections of the roof are covered in, work will begin to install lighting, communications, fire protection and emergency exits. “The fit-out is a very substantial part of the project.  It will be underway by Christmas and is likely to take the best part of a year.”

Landscaping and planting to restore Victoria Park on top of the tunnel is planned to take place in autumn and winter next year.

NZTA State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker, says the milestone provides real certainty that the basic structure will be completed and work will be underground well before the Rugby World Cup.

When it opens in mid-2012, the tunnel will carry three northbound lanes while the existing Victoria Park viaduct will be reconfigured to carry four southbound lanes.

Mr Parker says good progress is being made at the southern end of the 450-metre tunnel where traffic and major drainage, electrical and communications services have had to be relocated away from the path of the tunnel.

This week and next, traffic is being shifted to run over the top of completed sections of tunnel on Victoria Street West and Franklin Road.  This will enable tunnel construction to move to a new area in front of the original Rob Roy Hotel site.

He says the Rob Roy Hotel is due to be moved back to its original site, which will then be on the roof of the tunnel, in March next year and all tunnel construction in this area completed in April.

The 100 year old historic Campbell Free Kindergarten in Victoria Park is being restored as part of the project.

Restoration of Campbells has begun




  1. Patrick R says:

    It is still a lost opportunity for Auckland that they are not doing the whole project. That they are not highlights the sadly narrow terms of reference that the biggest shaper of urban form, NZTA, works under. Shame.

  2. max says:

    I assume you mean the fact that they are not undergrounding the existing viaduct at the same time?

    What happened to the bridge study, by the way? If that happens, I worry that urbanity in that area will go downhill anyway - major approach ramp through the park, here we come!

  3. James B says:

    I’m predicting that the bridge study will come out with the same conclusions as the previous study, that the tunnel is still clearly the best plan.

  4. max says:

    We are dealing with a minister who ignores his own reports giving Puhoi a 0.4 BCR. Why should I feel confident that he’s going to heed this study on the second harbour crossing - if indeed its authors do “risk” incurring SJ’s wrath by coming to the same conclusion.

    I predict that the report will sit on the fence. And then we will have wasted a whole lot of money weakening a case that we have spent a whole lot of money firming up.


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