Vic Tunnel Gets Lid On It


The Victoria Park Tunnel structure in central Auckland was completed during the weekend when the last of 366 beams weighing 30-tonnes each were placed over the final opening in the roof.

The NZ Transport Agency’s State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker, says when the last of the beams were positioned on Saturday , the 450 metre-long  tunnel had been built in just 15 months and remains on track to open to traffic on 7 November, three months early.

Placement of the last beams clears the way for an increase in activity out of sight inside the tunnel.

Below ground, the electrical and mechanical services needed to operate the tunnel safely are being installed. These included lights, extraction fans and communication and fire protection systems.  The tunnel’s fire lining is 80 per cent complete and traffic barriers are being built.

“The Alliance responsible for the Vic Park project  (NZTA, Fletcher Construction, Beca, Parsons Brinckerhoff and Higgins) has moved construction along at an extraordinary pace.  Grass is now growing again where, just a few months ago, there were more than a dozen cranes and drilling rigs operating in thick mud,” says Mr Parker.

Work is underway to reinstate trees, grassed areas and paths on top of the tunnel under Victoria Park.  A new skatepark is taking shape on the site of the original one in Beaumont Street, and an Auckland Council art project is also progressing to brighten the underside of the Victoria Park flyover.

Mr Parker said the Victoria Park Tunnel project aimed to return all but a very small section of the park to the community before the start of the Rugby World Cup in early September.  It would also reopen the popular Jacobs Ladder staircase and the new walkway connecting it to Beaumont Street.

Across Victoria Street, work to build a new Wellington Street motorway on ramp and the tunnel approach was continuing.  Mr Parker says this area would also be totally transformed as the project comes to an end.

Together, the tunnel, the reconfigured existing viaduct, and extra southbound capacity from the Newmarket Viaduct to Greenlane, will remove the last remaining bottleneck on the motorway network through central Auckland and provide more reliable and safer journeys.

Mr Parker says that while the tunnel will open to two lanes of traffic in early November, it will be January before Auckland experiences the full benefits of the Victoria Park Tunnel and its associated motorway widening through St Marys Bay.

“Once northbound traffic is using the tunnel, we will reconfigure the Victoria Park flyover to carry southbound traffic.  Our aim is to have all three northbound lanes in the tunnel and all four southbound lanes using the flyover by mid-January.”

The NZTA and its Alliance partners plan an extensive campaign to educate drivers about the new layout for motorway lanes.

“The changes will be extensive, particularly for people driving southbound over the existing viaduct,” Mr Parker says.

Related Posts

  1. Vic Tunnel Open In November
  2. Vic Tunnel Gets Roof Beams
  3. Vic Park Tunnel Excavation Starts
  4. Vic Tunnel Changes
  5. Fanshawe St Changes




  1. George D says:

    While I never agreed with this particular configuration, it is nice to see things finished early. Nothing like a job well done. The Newmarket Viaduct replacement is also well ahead of schedule, and the Manukau Bridge was about half a year early. Beca and Fletchers are getting particularly good at this kind of work.

    At least they’ll have Waterview to occupy them for a while after this. However, once they run out of projects the current government (if re-elected) is going to simply find more motorways and roads for them to build. A worry we’ll face in about two years or so.

  2. KarlHansen says:

    “will remove the last remaining bottleneck on the motorway network through central Auckland and provide more reliable and safer journeys.”

    Sounds like they said at the SH20-SH1 works, until that seized up a day after being opened. The LAST remaining bottleneck. Just this one, and then we can quit!

    Let’s do a bet on where the next city centre bottleneck will be that Joyce will argue needs to be fixed urgently for some dozens or hundred of million.

  3. Patrick R says:

    Still a shitty half pie job; every time I see that sign saying ‘we’re putting the park back’ I want to scream ‘no you’re not!’ We’ve still got the vile viaduct, worse there’re going to fix it up so it will last longer… NZTA’s contempt for people and place is only exceeded by the Minister’s. FAIL.

  4. Alphatron says:

    So what’s wrong with a viaduct? Good enough for the Basin Reserve in Wellington according to NZTA…

  5. KarlHansen says:

    Alphatron - exactly. Good 1970s architecture for the 21st century!


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