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Vic Park Tunnel project moving forward

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Auckland's Vic Park Tunnel project is a step closer to reality, with the announcement this morning that the NZ Transport Agency has chosen a preferred consortium for construction.

Auckland’s Vic Park Tunnel project is a step closer to reality, with the announcement this morning that the NZ Transport Agency has chosen a preferred consortium for construction.

The 2.2 kilometre-long project will make road travel in Auckland faster, easier and less expensive by eliminating a major chokepoint on one of the busiest stretches of the motorway network.

The project is the final element of the NZTA’s Central Motorway Junction (CMJ) improvements. The project includes a 440 metre tunnel beneath Victoria Park to carry three lanes of northbound traffic, converting the current viaduct to provide four lanes southbound and increasing the capacity of St Mary’s Bay to five lanes in each direction plus a southbound bus shoulder lane and provision for northbound bus priority.

NZTA Acting Regional Director for Auckland and Northland Tommy Parker said the project, identified by Government earlier this year as one of seven Roads of National Significance, would help people and goods move more efficiently through New Zealand’s largest urban area.

“It will unlock the full benefits of the CMJ improvements by reducing the significant congestion drivers currently encounter through the Victoria Park Viaduct and St Mary's Bay. The project will also provide a boost for public transport in Auckland by unlocking the full benefits of the Northern Busway, removing the current pinch point at St Mary’s Bay.”

Mr Parker said when the project was complete southbound motorists would be able to stay in the same lane from the Harbour Bridge to the city, the Southern Motorway or the Northern Motorway, removing the need for difficult and dangerous merging and lane-changing through St Mary’s Bay. The project will also eliminate the current northbound gridlock in the afternoon peak period at the viaduct. 

Mr Parker said another important component of the project would be preserving heritage sites like the historic Birdcage Tavern, and ensuring that the parts of Victoria Park needed for the project will be reinstated for everyone to use.
 
Earlier today NZTA announced the consortium ‘V-Formation’ as the successful tenderer for the project. The consortium comprises Fletcher Construction, Beca Engineering, Higgins Contractors and Australian consultancy Parsons Brinckerhoff. 

“This project is a true alliance between NZTA and the private sector, and this delivery method has huge benefits. We can overlap project phases and get on with delivering this important project to Aucklanders much faster,” Mr Parker said.

Preliminary works are due to begin next month, with construction scheduled to begin in November 2009. The total project cost is $406m.

For more information please contact:

Andy Knackstedt
NZTA Media Manager
T    64 4 894 6285 
M   0212 763 222  
E     andrew.knackstedt@nzta.govt.nz

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