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

IGIS: Report On Release Of NZSIS Information To Cameron Slater

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, published her report on the inquiry into the release of NZSIS information to Mr Cameron Slater at a press conference in Wellington today...

The inquiry found the NZSIS released incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information in response to Mr Slater’s request, and provided some of the same incorrect information to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office.

“These errors resulted in misplaced criticism of the then Leader of the Opposition, Hon Phil Goff MP. Mr Goff is owed a formal apology by the Service,” said Ms Gwyn. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

"New Faces, Wise Heads": Andrew Little Announces New Labour Line Up

Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Rick Ellis As Te Papa’s New CEO

The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial goals as he did at TVNZ, while similarly neglecting the serious cultural side of his mandate. More>>

Passport Cancellation, Surveillance: Draft 'Foreign Fighters Legislation' Released

The final draft of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill contains proposals previously announced by Mr Key in a major national security speech earlier this month. More>>

ALSO:

Related

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014... More>>

ALSO:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news