Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Waterview Bore

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to Duncan McKenzie,

    NZTA were not keen on funding the 2.4 km of cycleway parallel to the tunnel, which would have left a gap between its (proposed) termination in the middle of Alan Wood Park and Point Chevalier.

    That would have been royally stupid.

    Thankfully, NZTA were required to fund Auckland Council/Auckland Transport to do the project. It does involve bridges across the railway and the Oakley Creek and some private land acquisition so perhaps I should not have been as disappointed as I was when I learned that it was going to take as long to build as the motorway itself (projected completion 2017).

    Oh well. I fully intend to still be riding by then.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18712 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Duncan McKenzie,

    The project is a monster, but not as monstrous as it could have been!

    What I have found interesting is the way the whole project has evolved over the decades. For the 40 something years I've lived in Auckland it has always been known that a motorway would run through Oakley creek. Early on the only concern was why were they delaying building what was "obviously" a good thing, it was only going to cost more later.

    Then came the years when folks cleaned up Oakley creek and to be honest I thought "why bother, it's only going to be bulldozed away when they build that moterway?"

    Decades passed and finally the NZTA decide to build that motorway after all. And sure enough the folks that had spent all that effort creating a wonderful green space faught tooth and claw to save it.

    For me it makes sense to connect the moterway routes. It also makes sense to save the green space and build cycle and busways. For all the conflict involved over the years I personally think we will end up with both a useful piece of road (if anyone can accept such a thing could exist) and a greenspace and a cycleway.

    Now can we please reach the same good compromise for the next project without having the bitter nasty fights along the way?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3262 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Now can we please reach the same good compromise for the next project without having the bitter nasty fights along the way?

    That will require those with power and resources to change their attitudes and behaviour.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16493 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Now can we please reach the same good compromise for the next project without having the bitter nasty fights along the way?

    The next project will be the City Rail Link, and it's already bitter and nasty. Steven turned on Auckland Council, and now Gerry is turning on his own advisers.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3898 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    The next project will be the City Rail Link, and it’s already bitter and nasty. Steven turned on Auckland Council, and now Gerry is turning on his own advisers.

    Not to mention business leaders like Michael Barnett and Alex Swney who are openly in support of the CRL.

    Meanwhile, the NZ Council for Holiday Highway Development pooh-poohs the Napier-Gisborne rail line.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4158 posts Report Reply

  • Cameron Pitches,

    From the Herald:

    where a $54 million boring machine will arrive in parts from China in June or July to be assembled before spending a year from October digging the first tunnel.

    ... the obvious thing to do when that tunnel is finished would be to move the tunnel boring machine over to Mt Eden and start boring the rail tunnel. Or is that just too obvious? No doubt there will be some technical reason why the CRL tunnel will be different to the Waterview one, but I'm hoping you can just adjust the size of the drill bit with a massive chuck key and just get on with it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Cameron Pitches,

    TBMs are generally designed and built for a specific project, which is why they then bore themselves a grave once the project is completed. The costs of recovering and relocating are massive, and it’s rare that there’s another project in the vicinity with the same parameters as the project for which the TBM was designed. They’re not an off-the-shelf piece of kit that gets tuned for size on-site, they’re bespoke for a particular set of requirements.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3898 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    What an outstandingly convenient business model.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16493 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Sacha,

    Indeed, though I can sympathise with the difficulties of trying to even start designing a one-size-fits-all TBM. You still have to change drill bits to make different size holes with a domestic drill, and with a TBM the whole machine is the bit.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3898 posts Report Reply

  • Bill McKay, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Tunnel Talk has some interesting details see:
    http://www.tunneltalk.com/New-Zealand-Aug11-Award-of-the-Waterview-Project-in-Auckland.php
    and scroll down to paragraphs Tunnel Specs and Tunnel Design. The Waterview machine is a big one by world standards, rail tunnels are smaller. This TBM will bore south to north for one set of lanes, be disassembled and rebuilt facing the other direction, then bore north to south for the other lanes. Rather disappointing as two in a race would be much more fun, it is a westie highway after all.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2013 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    I certainly hope your little stretch of SH16 will be busier - because I'm intending to use it every time I head into town. In um, four years.

    I'm right at the end of the current SH20 in New Windsor. It's 12 minutes-ish to the airport. Not sure what the travel time to town will be come 2017, but if it's roughly the same as that, it'll be brilliant.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1128 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    they then bore themselves a grave once the project is completed

    What a sad mental image that is...

    And while I agree the issues and upfront costs with ferries are probably substantial, they are such a great way to get work - having just moved into a ferry-served suburb I've been loving the commute. Very appropriate for our city too. The uncommonly long run of dry Auckland weather may be helping that of course; yet to try it in a howling easterly in August...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Transportblog has a post on Waterview construction progress featuring Russell's photos, large size.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16493 posts Report Reply

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