The NZTA has been holding an open day on the Waterview Connection to give the public a chance to view the works that have been going on and see Alice – the massive tunnel boring machine that will soon start digging the tunnels. People wanting to visit needed to have signed up for a free ticket a few weeks ago and the NZTA have said that all of the 20,000 tickets were snapped up fairly quickly.

Expecting a lot of people, the NZTA even encouraged people to get there using public transport and put on a free and frequent shuttle from the Mt Albert Train station however stupidly – and this is probably on Auckland Transport – nothing was done about the crappy hourly frequencies on the western line or being a Sunday that services don’t go past Henderson. It’s dumb things like this that put people off even trying PT.

I went along for a look so here are some of the photo’s I took.

Looking South towards the new Richardson Rd bridge

Oct 2013 Open Day looking south

The large elevated structure is a huge conveyor belt that extends from the end of the TBM all the way out of the trench to a processing building . It is apparently acoustically protected to help reduce the noise impact on locals.

Oct 2013 Open Day looking north

The re-aligned Oakley Creek. The new sections actually look better than the old trench the creek used to be in.

Oct 2013 Open Day Oakley creek

The Segment Yard where all of the concrete wall panels are managed before being sent to the TBM for installation.

Oct 2013 Open Day Segment Yard

Looking down into the trench

Oct 2013 Open Day Looking into the Trench

Further down into the trench you can see the back of the TBM along with the artwork showing where the second tunnel will emerge. The crane that hovers above the site is able to lift 600 tonnes

Oct 2013 Open Day decending into the trench

Getting further into the trench.

Oct 2013 Open Day Alice

The people help give some perspective to how big the machine is.

Oct 2013 Open Day Alice 2

The cutting shield

Oct 2013 Open Day Alice 3

Looking south out of the trench.

Oct 2013 Open Day looking up the trench

One of the wall segments that will be installed in the tunnel. A sticker says it weighs 9,900kg

Oct 2013 Open Day Wall segment

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    1. Well it will be underway within that time as the owners of the Downtown mall will be redeveloping their site and so at least one segment of it will be started as part of that. I can see a lot of pressure being applied to just keep going from there as there is a good case to at least do some of the cut and cover bits.

  1. I went along with a couple of mates and really enjoyed. I parked at Mt Albert and caught the bus. Hassle free and less walking. The only issue was they should have put up some no parking signs on one side of the street leading up to the entrance.

  2. I agree, the free bus was great. Having to wait an hour for the train, however, was not. It’s next weekend they start half-hourly services, right? Would it have been hard to switch it to this one, in order to cater for this? I saw heaps of people using the train to get to and from the event.

    1. Buses did work well yes, and they were running 4 car sets too.
      I was lucky and only had to wait a few minutes for the train back. And there were at least 50 people getting on, and another bunch heading west too.
      I bet some would have been stuck there for ages though.
      Was well patronized considering wasn’t especially well advertised. For example when buying tickets, no mention of special buses connecting with trains.
      Email a few days ago mentioned PT was available, but information hidden behind several clicks.
      Agree with comments about parking on Hendon ave. Bus had to crawl down as space was so tight.

  3. The conveyor belt might also be covered to protect it from the weather. After all, it’s a sort of slurry / liquid / crumbly mess that the belt will transport, so you wouldn’t want it blown off during high winds…

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