Once in a lifetime chance to walk the Memorial Park underpass


This Sunday, the public will have a once in a lifetime chance to walk through the trench that will house the Memorial Park Underpass on Buckle Street.

The Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the NZ Transport Agency’s Memorial Park Alliance, in association with the Wellington Rotary Club, will be offering the public the chance to walk through the entire trench on Sunday 24 November from 10am to 1pm. Rotary Club volunteers will be present to accept gold coin donations for Philippine aid relief.

Transport Agency Wellington highways manager Rod James says the trench will carry traffic beneath Wellington’s National War Memorial Park, and is now nearing completion.  The construction of the concrete box that will form the sides and roof of the underpass is soon to commence, so there is a brief opportunity for the public to see the site before the next stage of construction commences.

“Progress is right on schedule, and this is a chance for the public to get right inside the trench and see how much has been accomplished in just a year by a truly committed team.”

Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Heritage Projects Manager, Brodie Stubbs, says the opportunity to walk through the tunnel will help the public understand what the tunnel and park will mean for public infrastructure.

“Memorial Park will change the urban landscape of Wellington, it will be a space for remembrance and one that acknowledges other nations who also fought and lost lives in the First World War. We’re pleased to be able to share with the public an inside look at where we’ve got to and what the next steps are”.

The details:

  • Visitors should approach from the Sussex St (Basin Reserve) end of the site and will be able to walk westward through the site exiting at the Taranaki St end of the trench.
  • This is the first opportunity to allow the public to walk through the trench and view the work.  Members of the Memorial Park Alliance team will be on hand to answer questions.
  • Visitors are encouraged to use public transport, or park nearby and walk as there is no parking at the site.
  • The excavation is 300m long and 12m deep and has involved removing 35,000 cubic metres (2,700 truck and trailer loads) of earth.  The trench walls are retained by a combination of king posts and sheet piles each 15m long with 14,000 timber posts (slotted between the king posts).  The king posts and sheet piles are held in place by 13m long ground anchors.  Visitors will be able to gain a rare insight into how the underpass is being constructed.
  • The National War Memorial Park in Buckle St, Mt Cook, Wellington, will be the key project to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War and the centrepiece of Anzac Day commemorations in 2015.  The Park will be achieved by putting State Highway One – Buckle Street between Tasman, Tory and Taranaki Streets – underground in a trench and tunnel to allow the creation of a Memorial Park.
  • More information on the project is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/memorial-park(external link)