Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Huge Machine On Its Way To Build Key Auckland Road Connection


MEDIA RELEASE

6 March 2013

NZ Transport Agency – Auckland Regional Office

Huge Machine On Its Way To Build Key Auckland Road Connection


Click for big version.

The start of tunnelling on the NZ Transport Agency’s (NZTA) landmark Waterview Connection project in Auckland has moved a significant step closer with the NZTA’s Well-Connected Alliance formally accepting the huge machine it will use to construct the twin 2.5km-long tunnels.

The state-of-the-art Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) is the 10th largest machine of its kind ever to be built worldwide and has been designed specifically for the unique ground conditions on the $1.4b Waterview Connection - the biggest transport construction project in New Zealand’s history and the key to unlocking the full benefits of Auckland’s motorway network.

The handover – marked by an official signing at Guangzhou in south east China where the German manufacturer of the TBM, Herrenknecht, has a factory – follows 14 months of design, build and testing of the giant machine.

The TBM’s circular cutting head, painted black with a silver fern logo, is more than 14 metres wide – the equivalent of a building three storeys high – and the machine is almost 100 metres long – the length of a rugby field. The machine will now be dismantled for shipment to New Zealand and is due to arrive in Auckland in July before being reassembled at the project’s southern tunnel portal to begin tunnelling in October.

The Waterview Connection is part of the Western Ring Route road of national significance and will join SH20 (Southwestern Motorway) and SH16 (Northwestern Motorway) to complete a 47 kilometre-long motorway alternative to SH1 and the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

“The size of this project and the size of the tunnel boring machine are both on a scale the likes of which we have never seen before in New Zealand,” says the NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker.

“Since mid-2012 we have preparing a trench that will not only form the southern tunnel approach, but provide the TBM’s launch pad,” Mr Parker adds. “This requires us to excavate to a depth of 30 metres, initially, drilling and blasting through a 15m-thick layer of very hard volcanic rock.”

To construct two 2.5km-long tunnels, each wide enough for three lanes of traffic, the TBM will pass beneath the rock and tunnel through softer, clay-like soil known as the East Coast Bay Formation. It is expected to take a year to complete the first tunnel, emerging beyond Great North Road in Waterview, where work is already underway to prepare for its arrival and turnaround for the return journey.
Mr Parker says that when completed in 2017, the project will help unlock Auckland’s potential for economic growth and will also have considerable benefits for its Northland and Waikato/Bay of Plenty neighbours.

“Easing pressure on the city’s existing motorway network will have flow-on effects that will encourage business growth, tourism and jobs. For the first time there will be a direct motorway link between Auckland International Airport and the CBD. The network will become more resilient – two motorway links through Auckland reduce the risk of any disruption to traffic bringing the city to a standstill.”

The Waterview Connection, Mr Parker adds, aims to deliver maximum regional and national benefits with a minimum long-term impact on the communities surrounding the project.

“Tunnelling obviously allows us to do this, and a strong focus on urban design and landscaping – like the rehabilitation work we’ve already carried out around Oakley Creek – ensures that the effects of all above ground work are carefully mitigated.”

TBM quick facts
• At 14.5m, the TBM’s shield or head diameter is the 10th largest ever built. Its total length is 97m.
• The 12 metre-long shield will arrive in NZ in 8 pieces, collectively weighing 2300 tonnes
• The TBM will have a top speed of 80mm a minute, or 0.0005km/h
• Approximately 800,000 cubic metres of earth will be removed from both tunnels – enough to full 320 Olympic-sized swimming pools

Attached images

• The Tunnel Boring Machine with its distinctive silver fern at Herrenknecht’s factory at Guangzhou in south east China

• Graham Darlow, Chairman of the Board of the Well-Connected Alliance, the NZTA’s specialist design, construct and maintenance consortium delivering the Waterview Connection project, puts pen to paper on the $50M TBM contract at the official acceptance ceremony in Guangzhou, China

• Graham Darlow, Chairman of the Board of the Well-Connected Alliance, the NZTA’s specialist design, construct and maintenance consortium delivering the Waterview Connection project, addresses the audience in front of the TBM at the official acceptance ceremony in Guangzhou, China

For more information visit: www.nzta.govt.nz/waterviewconnection. Latest news and videos are also available via Well-Connected’s Twitter and Youtube channels www.twitter.com/wcnow and www.youtube.com/wcnow.

NOTES
Roads of National Significance
As part of the Western Ring Route, the Waterview Connection is crucial to supporting growth in Auckland and improving transport links between the city and the economic centres of Northland and Waikato/Bay of Plenty.

The Western Ring Route – Waterview and the adjacent project to raise and widen the SH16 causeway - is part of the NZTA’s roads of national significance programme (RoNS for short), which represents one of New Zealand’s biggest-ever infrastructure investments. Once completed, the seven RoNS routes will reduce congestion in and around our five largest metropolitan areas, and will move people and freight between and within these centres more safely and efficiently.
Other RoNS are: Ara Tuhono – Puhoi to Wellsford north of Auckland, Auckland’s Victoria Park Tunnel (completed in 2012), Waikato Expressway, Tauranga Eastern Link, Wellington Northern Corridor, and Christchurch Motorways. More information is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/rons.

www.nzta.govt.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ.

Cunliffe marshalled his points better, kept Key off balance and – more often than not – was in control of the general tenor of the contest. Labour supporters would have been heartened, and given some belated reassurance that maybe the change of leadership last year had been the right decision. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

ALSO:

More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour On Climate Change: Focus On The Now For The Future

A Labour Government will put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on both mitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission and implement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Housing Assistance Plan

So, as many as 90,000 people could derive some benefit from National’s housing assistance plans for low and middle-income earners... Yet in reality, the benefits seem likely to be insignificant, and they will be skewed towards those at the top end of the income group that’s supposedly the target. More>>

ALSO:

Election Data Consortium: National’s Worst Case Scenario At Stage One?

A month out from the general election and ipredict traders are still forecasting National’s vote to slip below current polling levels and there is potential for it to fall further. More>>

ALSO:

From The Scoop Video Archive: PM Says SIS "Told Me" About OIA Release

In a press conference immediately following an controversial OIA release of notes on an SIS briefing to then Labour leader Phil Goff, Key said "at that point [Tucker] told me he'd release it ...". Since the release of Nicky Hager's 'Dirty Politics' Key has denied being personally informed and said references by officials to 'the PM' being told briefed referred to his office. He now says the same about his own statement. More>>

ALSO:

  • Scoop Video in the news - New questions over Key claims | NZ Herald News - Stuff.co.nz
  • Earlier - Felix Marwick: Laying out facts over SIS documents - Newstalk ZB
  • Labour - Director’s letter contradicts Key’s claims
  • ACT - The Letter - 26 days to go
  • TV3 Video - Housing issue nudges Dirty Politics aside - David Cunliffe: Key's SIS explanation 'defies belief' - SIS leak came from Key's Office - Goff - Key 'categorically denies' Slater OIA discussion - Video: Key faces more Dirty Politics questions

  • TVNZ - Winston Peters: ‘Dirty Politics' is a new low
  • The Nation - Debate Between Grant Robertson And Russel Norman
  • NZ First - “The Words Mean What I Say They Mean”
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Regional
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news