Ex­tra tun­nel tours added

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JACK­SON THOMAS

It took years of build­ing and months of de­lays for Auck­land’s new Water­view Con­nec­tion tun­nel to be ready - but just hours for 42,000 peo­ple to fully book an open day.

NZTA an­nounced on Sun­day that the $1.4 bil­lion Auck­land road­ing project was due to open to traf­fic in early July, but there would be a chance for the pub­lic to walk and cy­cle through on an open day this Sun­day.

How­ever, shortly af­ter the an­nounce­ment NZTA tweeted that the pub­lic walk through was fully booked.

On Mon­day Trans­port Min­is­ter Si­mon Bridges an­nounced three ex­tra open days as a re­sult of high pub­lic de­mand.

An NZTA spokesper­son said: ‘‘Given the world class in­no­va­tion and en­gi­neer­ing that has been at the heart of this project we are not sur­prised that it has cap­tured peo­ple’s imag­i­na­tion and that the tick­ets have been snapped up so quickly.’’

The tun­nel was ear­marked to open on Easter week­end, how­ever de­lays due to sys­tem fail­ures had pushed out the open­ing date.

An ex­act date has still not been con­firmed.

NZTA Auck­land high­way man­ager Brett Glid­don said the tun­nel was ex­pected to re­duce traf­fic on key roads in cen­tral Auck­land and along Great North Rd, trav­el­ling west.

‘‘This will ben­e­fit the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties of Mt Al­bert, Mt Roskill and Mt Eden by re­duc­ing traf­fic on lo­cal roads.’’.

Auck­land’s Water­view Con­nec­tion tun­nel is ex­pected to open in early July.

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