Auckland, New Zealand

Waterview Connection

Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency)


The Waterview Connection in Auckland consists of a 2.1‑kilometer-long (1.3 mi) twin-bore highway tunnel, a cut-and-cover tunnel, portal works, deep retained cuts, and a motorway-to-motorway interchange consisting of four viaducts. The tunnel provides three lanes of traffic in each direction and was driven through weak sedimentary rock using a 14.1‑meter-diameter (46.3 ft) earth pressure balance tunnel boring machine (TBM).

Fast Facts
  • 2.1-kilometer-long (1.3 mi) twin-bore tunnels
  • Cut-and-cover tunnels

Scope of Work

Delve Underground provided tunnel consulting services to NZTA during preparation of the minimum requirements for the tenders, and then served as NZTA embeds” on the two tender teams competing for the project. The Well-Connected consortium was the successful tenderer and entered into an alliance with NZTA to deliver the project. 

During the detailed design phase, Delve Underground provided peer review services to the alliance for the design of all tunnel structures as required for building consent, including the tunnel segmental lining, tunnel invert structures, cross passages constructed by the sequential excavation method (SEM), as well as all retaining wall structures and cut-and-cover tunnels.

Challenges & Innovations

This $1.4 billion project was delivered on time and on budget. At the time of construction, this was the tenth largest TBM ever used to construct a tunnel. The project reduced travel time from the Auckland Central Business District (CBD) to the Auckland Airport by 20 minutes.