Yesterday morning the Waterview tunnel finally opened, after months of delay. An NZTA tweet at 2:32AM (don’t they sleep?) showed a video of the first cars going through:
— NZTA Akld & Nthlnd (@NZTAAkl) July 1, 2017
As the news spread around many Aucklanders set out to drive through this newest addition to our transport network:
Waterview drive-thru livestream https://t.co/DOTCxqWPLv
— Chris Keall (@ChrisKeall) July 1, 2017
— Stuart Young (@dr_stuey) July 2, 2017
Many many Aucklanders…
— Lisa ✧ (@LisaCNZ) July 2, 2017
Well that didn't last long… pic.twitter.com/cJKTD4buTE
— Andy Baird (@andy_engineer) July 2, 2017
The breakdown. Was close to stationary for a bit, then a disembodied voice boomed through the tunnel. Started to feel a bit claustrophobic. pic.twitter.com/hzwwsV4eD8
— Kit McLean (@kit_nz) July 2, 2017
This underground carpark is really wierd. pic.twitter.com/brQQIuilrX
— Oh, not this again (@ruatara) July 2, 2017
And some happy lettuces:
— Steve (@nzsd) July 2, 2017
NZTA say we need to wait a few months to see how the traffic settles down, like six months. I almost wonder if they’re hoping that in six months everyone will have forgotten what traffic was like before the tunnels opened. It’s fascinating how much they have been dampening down expectations over the past few months.
— NZTA Akld & Nthlnd (@NZTAAkl) July 2, 2017
This is a pretty momentous occasion in Auckland’s history because it means the motorway network is now basically finished (a small bit up near Constellation Drive notwithstanding). After decades of “we must finish the motorway network” rhetoric, that task is now complete.
Obviously in hindsight we probably would have done things differently, like building the Western Ring route before the inner motorway networks and spaghetti junction. After all motorways are much more effective at taking people around the dense core of urban areas rather than to them and through them. But hey, let’s celebrate that this task is now done and we can move on to giving Auckland it’s necessary complementary rapid transit network, a proper Congestion Free Network.