The NZ Transport Agency will start work on 6 December 2010 to upgrade the Terrace Tunnel's operating systems.
The NZ Transport Agency’s regional state highways manager Rob Whight says the tunnel’s fire fighting, lighting, ventilation and drainage systems will be upgraded, some earthquake strengthening will be done and two new control buildings will be built.
Mr Whight says the upgrade will significantly improve the tunnel’s systems and work is expected to be completed before the Rugby World Cup in September 2011.
“The Terrace Tunnel is a vital transport link for the people of Wellington and a key part of the country’s state highway network. The tunnel is now over 30 years old and it’s time for an upgrade,” says Mr Whight.
Mr Whight says the tunnel will be closed overnight between 8pm and 6am, usually from Sundays to Thursdays.
“This is important work but we want to minimise disruption to motorists, so we’ll be doing the work overnight.when things are quiet, and putting a diversion in place.
“It’s essential the upgrade is done efficiently. Closing the tunnel five nights a week is the best way to do this without affecting peak time traffic flows in and out of the city.”
Clearly marked diversions will be in place in both directions, with northbound traffic using local roads to access the highway from Everton Terrace, while southbound traffic will be diverted off the highway at the Terrace off-ramp.
The upgrade is to be carried out by the Wellington Tunnels Alliance, a consortium including the NZTA, Leightons Contractors, AECOM and Sinclair Knight Merz,
More information on the upgrade project, diversion routes and tunnel closures can be found on the project website at www.nzta.govt.nz/terrace-tunnel(external link).