T-for-trench party with Alice

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

The pub­lic has just one chance to get up close to Alice be­fore she be­gins her jour­ney earth­ward.

The gi­ant tun­nel bor­ing ma­chine which will drill the $1.4 bil­lion Water­view Con­nec­tion will be open to view on Oc­to­ber 13.

She has been dubbed Alice be­cause her jour­ney is rem­i­nis­cent of that de­picted in Alice in Won­der­land.

The cus­tom-de­signed ma­chine is be­ing re­assem­bled on site and will be­gin tun­nelling in Novem­ber.

The event will al­low closeup view­ing of Alice from within the trench, less than three weeks be­fore tun­nelling be­gins.

With a 14.5 me­tre di­am­e­ter cut­ting face, and weigh­ing in at over 3600 tonnes, Alice is the world’s tenth largest tun­nel bor­ing ma­chine, and will be the largest ever to be used in the south­ern hemi­sphere.

New Zealand Trans­port Agency spokesman Tommy Parker says the event will give New Zealan­ders the chance to see one of the world’s true mega-ma­chines be­fore it is put to work.

‘‘The $55 mil­lion bor­ing ma­chine will not only ex­ca­vate the ground, it will build the tun­nels as it goes, leav­ing a cir­cu­lar con­crete lin­ing in its wake and ul­ti­mately tak­ing 2.5 kilo­me­tres of mo­tor­way un­der­ground,’’ the State High­ways man­ager for Auck­land and North­land says.

The Water­view Con­nec­tion is by far the big­gest project NZTA has ever un­der­taken and Mr Parker says the open day will also al­low vis­i­tors to see other el­e­ments of its un­prece­dented scope and scale.

The open day walk­way will pass along­side new bridges, sports fields, wet­lands and stream im­prove­ments that have al­ready been com­pleted, be­fore de­scend­ing be­neath a 15m shelf of vol­canic rock into the ex­ca­vated trench.

Vis­i­tors will also see the con­veyor that will be used to ex­tract the tun­nels’ 800,000 cu­bic me­tres of spoil.

To safely ac­com­mo­date up to 20,000 vis­i­tors over the course of the day, en­trance to the walk­way will be by pre­booked ticket only.

Tick­ets will pro­vide 30-minute win­dows for en­try to the walk­way, be­tween 10am and 3.30pm, and will be avail­able on a first-come­first-served ba­sis from to­day via nzta.govt.nz/wa­ter view­con­nec­tion and face­book .com/AliceTBM.

Big job: The view look­ing back from what will be the tun­nel por­tal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.