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