Victoria Park Tunnel Opens


Auckland’s $340 million Victoria Park Tunnel was officially opened this morning three months ahead of schedule by Prime Minister John Key- and 17,000 people then walked through the 450 metre-long tunnel.

It was a fascinating experience.

VICTORIA PARK TUNNEL: Thousands walk through it on its opening day

NZTA did a great job. Volunteers along the way were informative and pleasant. Good stuff, NZTA.

The tunnel adds three new three lanes for northbound traffic on State Highway 1 - two lanes will open to traffic on Monday. The tunnel’s third lane will open next March.

The NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker, says over the next two weeks the agency will carry out extensive testing of the tunnel’s operating systems.

The tunnel will be used by between 55,000 to 60,000 vehicles every day. It has been built to the highest international safety standards, but these tests are essential so that we can be certain for the safety of drivers that all systems will perform reliably if there is an emergency.”

The tunnel lanes also need to be connected with State Highway 1, and Mr Parker says timing will be critical for this necessary work.

“Work needs to be done at the weekend when traffic volumes are lighter to minimise motorway delays, and the weather must be dry or we will not be able to complete the connections,” he says.

A daily average traffic flow of 150,000 vehicles makes the Central Motorway Junction the country’s busiest sections of motorway.

“When we open the tunnel we will close the northbound lanes on the Victoria Park flyover. This will enable work to start to reconfigure the flyover for southbound traffic – the current northbound lanes heading south to Newmarket and beyond and the current southbound lanes heading off SH1 to the CBD, the Port and the Northwestern Motorway,” Mr Parker says.

The flyover is due to open in this new configuration on Monday January 9.

Mr Parker says all additional northbound capacity will be released in March, when the third lane in the tunnel and a new peak-time lane through St Marys Bay open.

The Victoria Park Tunnel project is being constructed by an alliance comprising the NZTA, Fletcher Construction, Beca, Higgins and Parsons Brinkenhoff.

It’s also great to see as part of this, the amazing renovation of the dilapidated heritage Logan Campbell Free Kindergarten building in Victoria Park

RESTORED: Great job on the Victoria Park heritage Logan Campbell kindergarten

and the creation of an awesome new fun skatepark which is an instant hit.

SKATEPARK: Victoria park's new skatepark opens

The new Victoria Park skatepark is an immediate winner




  1. Patrick says:

    Great photos

  2. Evan J says:

    I don’t see how adding an extra north bound lane through the tunnel will shave 20 minutes off journey times, as some people claim will happen. However, the new dedicated bus lane on the south bound lanes between the habour bridge and Fanshaw Street, will make a big difference to bus times, as it will mean the buses will have their own lane from the busway south, especially if cars are kept off the east bound lane on the harbour bridge. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some agitation for a south bound tunnel to replace the bridge altogether because that is one noisy bridge, both from sound coming from the vehicles and sound resonating through the structure. The former can be relieved by sound barriers being erected on the outside of the bridge, and I’m surprised they are not there already, but I doubt if anything can be done about the latter other than a redesign.

  3. Evan J - The time savings are not purely from adding an extra lane, the approaches to the tunnel are also configured better than the approaches to the Viaduct were, the constant merging hopefully will be improved, and my guess is this is where the majority of the time savings will be made.

    Talking to people involved, the tunnel was one of the smallest parts of the project, with the baulk of the work undertaken either side of the tunnel itself. However there is no doubt the tunnel is the feature.

  4. George D says:

    $700m per kilometre, for three lanes of cut and cover?


  5. tbird says:

    “$700m per kilometre, for three lanes of cut and cover?”

    How much could you do it for?

  6. George D says:

    I’ve just heard from a fairly reliable source that they have an uncontrolled seawater problem. They’ve tried to contain it with concrete, but they haven’t been entirely successful. Seabed fill surrounding the structure is seeping in, and it has an effective lifespan of around 40 years.

    I hope this is not true.

  7. Jeremy says:

    Over $700K per metre does seem bizarre.

    People love to make a big deal about the small stuff in politics but man I’ve never lost sight of how much the big stuff eclipse the small stuff.

  8. JCNZ says:

    I see water seepage in that emergency corridor. I hope that isn’t a sign of things to come.

  9. James says:

    Yeah i noticed it as well when walking in the emergency corridor, there was a lot of water seeping in though the walls…not good…

  10. Loghead says:

    The walls in the emergency tunnel are supposed to let a small volume of water through them. They are not especially waterproofed other them being a big lump of concrete. If you ever happen to be in the emergency tunnel again ( & I hope not!) you might notice a small drain at the base of the wall, to take the water away (as you make your way quickly to the egress stairs)..

  11. Scott says:


    Do you know the design life? Im wondering what they did to stop the rebar from rusting. Rumor has it that the water is sea water (salty).

  12. Geoff says:

    Britomart is the same, below sea level on reclaimed land, and thus submerged in salt water. It can’t really be avoided.

  13. Loghead says:


    I understand that NZTA require a design life of 100 years for most things. I don’t know if the tunnel is any different.
    In speaking to an engineering contact, he seemed to think that the majortiy of the water would be groundwater coming down from Freemans Bay/College Hill area rather than seawater.

  14. tbird says:

    @George D “I’ve just heard from a fairly reliable source that they have an uncontrolled seawater problem. They’ve tried to contain it with concrete, but they haven’t been entirely successful. Seabed fill surrounding the structure is seeping in, and it has an effective lifespan of around 40 years.”

    It’s not the same source who can tell us the real reason Rena was deliberately run into Astrolabe Reef, is it?

  15. jbrow says:

    Wheres the photos of the guys that worked there asses of under the pressures of a project manager that crashed his car well using a cellphone


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