Victoria Park Tunnel Opening Details


NZTA will open two of the Victoria Park Tunnel’s three lanes to traffic on Monday, November 7, at the end of a week of intensive work to divert northbound motorway lanes underground from the existing Victoria Park flyover.

A week earlier, on 29 October, the Prime Minister, John Key, will officially open the tunnel.  You will also have the opportunity to walk through the tunnel, and it will be the venue for a charity gala dinner.

These celebrations will be followed in the week leading up to 7 November by extensive road works to get the tunnel ready for what will be the first part of a staged commissioning of the $340 million project that will increase motorway capacity and ease congestion between the Auckland Harbour Bridge and Central Motorway Junction when work is finally completed next March.

NZTA’s State Highways manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker says while the tunnel opens to traffic in November, drivers will have to wait until January to start to enjoy the benefits of the project.

That’s when NZTA reconfigures the Victoria Park flyover for four lanes of southbound traffic – two going off to the Auckland CBD and the Northwestern Motorway and two heading south on State Highway 1.

A thousand paying guests will use the tunnel as a dining hall on Thursday October 27. The unique gala event will raise funds to complete Ronald McDonald House Auckland Trust’s family accommodation unit, Grafton Mews. The Trust provides support and accommodation for families from all over New Zealand whose children must receive treatment at Auckland’s Starship Children’s Hospital.

Two days later - Saturday, 29 October – Mr Key will lead a ribbon cutting celebration to officially open the tunnel. It will be people, not traffic, who have first use of the tunnel.  The ribbon cutting will be followed by a public open day when people will have the chance to walk through the 450 metre-long tunnel.

The NZTA says numbers will be restricted, and people will need to register first before they can make the walk.

Outside the tunnel, there will be celebrations in Victoria Park which include demonstrations at the Auckland Council’s new skatepark, a walk of art, displays and food stalls.

During the week that follows, contractors will be busy with final work to have the tunnel and the motorway approaches to it ready for traffic on 7 November.

“Switching motorway traffic to the tunnel will be complicated, and there will be disruption for drivers during the day and at night as we complete this essential work,” Mr Parker says.  “We’ve had terrific support from drivers and we will need their patience a little longer to get the job done.”

The project will increase the capacity of State Highway 1 over 2.2km, from the Auckland Harbour Bridge to the Central Motorway Junction.  The additional capacity will come from:

  • A 450m tunnel under Victoria Park for three lanes of northbound traffic
  • Reconfiguration of the Victoria Park flyover for two lanes of southbound traffic and two lanes heading to the CBD via Cook Street, the Port and the Northwestern Motorway.
  • One additional motorway lane in each direction through St Marys Bay
  • A citybound bus shoulder lane
  • Upgrading the Fanshawe Street off and on ramps
  • An auxiliary peak-time-only lane at the Fanshawe Street on ramp, opened and closed by moveable lane barriers




  1. It’s a real shame we are still going to end up with a 4 lane motorway viaduct running over Victoria park at the end of all this. An opportunity to reclaim the park wasted.

  2. George D says:

    Cameron, you really think they were going to improve Auckland at the expense of roading?

    This is a warning shot to us, really. We have to get the Auckland Plan as strong as possible, and as completely resistant to subversion as possible, because this will happen for the next decade or so at least (even with a friendly government in power, there will still be battles over things).

    (Of course, I am just a commenter on a communist transport blog, according to Joyce)

  3. Patrick R says:

    What I heard was that it was the new Harbour Bridge proposal that threw the spanner in the works of full undergrounding. So that daft idea is already messing up the city. This is the cheapest and easiest moment to get rid of the failing and vile viaduct and we have missed it. Thanks people.

  4. James B says:

    @Patrick R. I saw a comment by one of the chief engineers who said that building the second tunnel and removing the viaduct was impossible due to the fact you would have to build a tunnel under the viaduct, thus leading you to demolish the viaduct first and causing an unacceptable loss of lanes. My solution would be to build a four lane tunnel for not much more, put all traffic through that. Remove the viaduct and build the second tunnel and then transfer southbound traffic to it.

  5. Patrick R says:

    James, unture, Fletchers had it all worked out and would only add 70 odd million to the whole cost….

    You open the new tunnel, take down the current northbound viaduct, traffic now in new tunnel, build the southbound tunnel then take down current south bound viaduct….

    Also, in my view, get ride of Cook St off ramp, and AK has a great inner city commercial/residential area to develop.

  6. James B says:

    @Patrick R: I’m just saying what I saw on the Auckland Motorways website. I agree though there were ways around it.

    I disagree that removing the Cook Street off ramp would lead to a better city. Unfortunately that and the Wellington Street on ramp are the most convenient routes to and from the northern motorway for Mt Eden, Kingsland and Eden Terrace. Removing those ramps will lead to more traffic on Hobson/Nelson Streets or along Franklin Road.

    I would argue that the Cook Street offramp does need to redesigned to slow traffic better. Maybe reroute it up behind Placemakers and then up to Wellington Street before coming to an end at the intersection with Pitt Street. That way you have a long time to slow down and a set of traffic lights at the end.

  7. Geoff Houtman says:

    To the uneducated it looks like we spent a half billion on moving a bottleneck round the corner a little and didn’t even get rid of the viaduct.

    But then I’m uneducated…

    - George B- good work!


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