Located in central Auckland, the Victoria Park Tunnel
(VPT) is the final link in the NZ Transport Agency's Central Motorway Improvement (CMI) initiatives between the Harbour Bridge and Newmarket.
The Alliance delivering the project comprises Fletcher Construction, NZTA, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Higgins and Beca. Beca provided planning, design and traffic management services to the Alliance, and also worked closely alongside Boffa Miskell and Warren and Mahoney on all landscaping and urban design aspects.
VPT aims to increase the vehicle carrying capacity over 2.2km of State Highway 1 between the Wellington Street overbridge and the Auckland Harbour Bridge, one of the busiest sections of road in New Zealand.
As well as the 450-metre cut and cover tunnel through Victoria Park which will carry three lanes of northbound traffic, project features included:
- Refurbishment of the existing viaduct to provide four lanes for southbound traffic
- Motorway widening to five lanes in each direction through St Marys Bay
- A citybound bus lane through St Marys Bay
- Improved cycling and walking access from St Marys Bay to the CBD
- Preservation of the historic Rob Roy Hotel and the Campbell Free Kindergarten
- Noise walls adjacent to Freemans Bay and through St Marys Bay
- Reinstatement of Victoria Park on top of the tunnel, including a new skatepark.
VPT is the first of the New Zealand Government's Roads of National Signfiicance (RoNS) to be constructed. The tunnel itself opened three months early than scheduled in November 2011, and construction is expected to be completed in March 2012.