Construction is going well on Auckland’s Waterview Connection project thanks to the world’s tenth largest tunnel boring machine, Alice, who has now constructed 1.2km of the first of the 2.4km-long tunnels which will connect the city’s Southwestern and Northwestern motorways.
Alice’s journey began in November last year when she started the underground work, excavating soil and installing the tunnel’s concrete lining, between Owairaka and Waterview. Working at 32.5m below the surface, she has averaged about 4m per day, with a record of 28m progress in one day achieved last week. In total she has removed 197,000 cubic metres of soil so far.
At this rate, the construction of the first tunnel with be finished in late September, when Alice will be turned around over a three month period. She will then be launched to build the second tunnel on her southbound journey back to Owairaka early next year.
Construction of the two tunnels is due to be completed at the end of 2015 with the entire project, including the motorway connections at either end, to be opened in early 2017.