Waterview tunnel fan documents build
An Auckland woman has spent nearly everyday over the past four years documenting the construction of New Zealand’s most expensive infrastructure project, ‘‘rain, hail or shine’’.
Auckland’s $1.4 billion Water Connection tunnel is now open after construction began in January 2012. The tunnel and associated ring road connect Auckland’s northwestern and southwestern motorways. They were the final links in the 48km Western Ring Route, which is expected to reduce inner-city traffic.
Smith first became enamoured with the project in January of 2013 after seeing the beginnings of the new motorway while walking the Richardson Rd footbridge. The Lynfield resident said she raced home, grabbed her camera and has ‘‘not stopped shooting since’’. Smith now has more than 200,000 images on file.
‘‘When I first began taking photos at the site, I had a general understanding of how the motorways would link, but I didn’t grasp the magnitude of the work and machinery involved,’’ she said.
‘‘I became obsessed. I would come rain, hail or shine, often seven days a week.’’
On June 18, Smith was among the 10,000 Aucklanders who walked through the Waterview tunnel at the official open day. After four years of admiring from afar, Smith said the walk through was both an eye opening and emotional experience.
‘‘Just to be there, taking all of the sights and sounds. It was truly incredible,’’ she said. ‘‘My documentation has been so extensive that it’s very exciting for me to be able to see things up close instead of zoomed-in through a camera lens.’’
NZTA tunnel for her, to help her see progress up close and it’s great to know she’s recorded the development of the area over the past few years to share.’’
Smith said she never set out to capture the monumental project, but was grateful to have had site inductions and supervised visits.
The Richardson Rd footbridge has been a favourite vantage point for Dianne Smith over the past four years.