Waterview Tunnels Has a Million Problems and Traffic is Ironically Not One

Technology continues to plague the Western Ring Route connection


Sprinklers, dodgy concrete issues, fans and ventilation, and emergency widening of State Highway 20 because someone in NZTA couldn’t count. Who knew trying to get a pair of road tunnels open would be that difficult. Well apparently it is after an Official Information Act request came back to One News from NZTA asking about the Waterview Tunnels.


From One News:

Transport agency withholds possible opening date for Auckland’s delayed Waterview Connection project

6:10pm – 24 May, 2017 Will Hine 

A new possible opening date for Auckland’s Waterview Connection remains a mystery, with the information redacted in documents released to 1 NEWS.

The $1.4b Waterview tunnels will soon complete a long awaited link in the roading network.

Source: 1 NEWS

The documents provide new information about the problems that have affected the $1.4 billion project.

The twin 2.4 kilometre-long tunnels were due to open in April.

But, on March 24 the NZ Transport Agency pushed back the date to “within the next two to three months”.

The organisation cited intermittent faults in safety systems which are used to respond to emergencies such as fires in the tunnels.


The document mentions a new earliest possible opening date but that information was redacted before being sent to 1 NEWS.

The memo says rubber diaphragms in 176 “deluge valves” required replacement after they became damaged during testing.

“It was later identified that the test pressure advised by the manufacturer exceeded the maximum pressure that should have been used for testing the valves.”

The author said the replacement rubber diaphragms would need to be brought in from as far away as Australia and Israel.

In addition, the memo identified a malfunction in the software that controls the ventilation system and deluge pumps.

Further detail was provided in a subsequent memo:

“During the commissioning testing of the tunnel ventilation system which is primarily made up of large Jet fans mounted to the roof to the tunnels we have experienced an intermittent fault with the [redacted].

“We found on a number of occasions over time that these units were faulting which meant we lost control of the fans and only by physically going to the units and cycling the power to them could we reset them.”


Source: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/transport-agency-withholds-possible-opening-date-aucklands-delayed-waterview-connection-project


Let me get this straight NZTA, you spend some billions on a road tunnel or two and have 176 rubber diaphragms bust on the fire sprinklers ALONG WITH the central control system unable to control said sprinklers and the ventilation fans?

Would say that is pretty bravo team.


So when is the tunnel going to open and when is the North Western Busway going to be actually built?


One thought on “Waterview Tunnels Has a Million Problems and Traffic is Ironically Not One

  1. Don’t worry – I still get to keep my bloated salary. I don’t [& probably won’t], answer in any credible form.
    Don’tchya know – big projects always have teething problems?
    Turn ’em into a museum for public body panning and decision making!

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