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


‘Galloping’ Alice Halfway to Waterview

‘Galloping’ Alice Halfway to Waterview

Alice has now reached halfway on the first leg of her long journey underground at Auckland’s Waterview Connection project. The giant tunnel boring machine has constructed exactly 1.2km of the first of the 2.4km-long tunnels to connect the city’s Southwestern and Northwestern motorways.

The NZ Transport Agency’s acting Highways Manager, Steve Mutton, says Alice has been almost unstoppable since resuming tunnelling after a planned two week-long maintenance shutdown in May.

“She has reached a snail’s gallop, with 28 metres progress one day last week – her best day yet. That’s not bad when your top speed is only around 80mm per minute.”

Mr Mutton says that since she began her underground travels from Owairaka to Waterview last November, Alice has averaged around 14m per day excavating spoil and installing the tunnel’s concrete lining.

“At those rates, the machine is well on schedule to complete the first tunnel in late September.”

The world’s tenth largest tunnel boring machine is now 32.5m below the surface. On her 1.2km journey so far, Alice has installed 600 tunnel lining rings, each weighing 100 tonnes and comprising 10 pre-cast reinforced concrete segments. She has also removed 197,000 cubic metres of spoil.

“Technologically, burrowing under Auckland is ‘hungry’ work,” Mr Mutton says. “Alice has consumed $90,000 in power charges and $55,000 for water. It’s another example of the complexity and size of this project.”

On her arrival at Waterview in September, Alice will be turned around over the following three months and re-launched on her southbound journey early next year, building the second (northbound) tunnel as she goes.

Construction of the two tunnels will be completed at the end of 2015, when they will be fitted out with the services needed to operate them. These include ventilation fans, communication systems and fire protection. Sixteen cross passages – one every 150m - connecting the twin tunnels will also be built.

The entire project, which includes the motorway connections either end of the tunnels, is due to be opened in early 2017.

The Waterview Connection completes Auckland’s Western Ring Route. The alternative to the SH1 Southern and Northern Motorways will be 47 kilometres long between Albany and Manukau. The Western Ring Route will improve city and regional transport connections, and is identified by the Government as a Road of National Significance because of its importance to New Zealand’s economy.

The Waterview Connection project is being delivered by the Well-Connected Alliance which includes the Transport Agency, Fletcher Construction, McConnell Dowell, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Beca Infrastructure, Tonkin & Taylor and Japanese construction company Obayashi Corporation. Sub-alliance partners are Auckland-based Wilson Tunnelling and Spanish tunnel controls specialists SICE.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On John Key’s Trip To Iraq

In the embedded press coverage on this trip, the absence so far of any evaluation of the wider context of what New Zealand thinks it is doing at Camp Taji has been striking. More>>


Labour: Parata Puts Brakes On Charter School Appraisal

“When the Ministry of Education recommended they compare the achievements of children at charter schools to those of their counterparts at state schools, the documents show Hekia Parata specifically prohibited them from doing so." More>>


Bad Day For Universities: Gun, Bomb Threats On Three Campuses

Dunedin Police are continuing their investigation into the threat made against the University of Otago. Staff are following a number of lines of inquiry, and police are working to verify the authenticity and source of the post. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Deal Reached In Atlanta

Yes, the TPP has helped to knock a few points off the tariffs facing our exporters. Yet some of those alleged dollar gains may well have been made regardless over time – and without the negative baggage of the concessions in the non-trade areas (intellectual property, copyright extensions, investor-state dispute mechanisms etc) that the TPP deal also brings in its wake. More>> (Cartoon by Dave Wolland)

Public Summaries:


Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Pre-Signing: Gordon Campbell On The TPP Countdown

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news