17 Dec 2014

Alice back and boring

10:25 pm on 17 December 2014

The giant tunnel-boring machine known as Alice is back at work on New Zealand's biggest motorway project.

The Waterview connection in Auckland will complete the north-western motorway corridor, providing an alternative route between north and south.

It took 10 months to push one side of the tunnel 2.4km from Owairaka to the western Auckland suburb of Waterview.

Having bored the tunnel from south to north, Alice has been pulled onto a massive steel cradle, slid sideways and turned to face south, ready to bore a parallel tunnel.

The Transport Agency's highway manager, Brett Gliddon, said it was extraordinary to see the drill turned because of the sheer size of the 2400-tonne, 12-metre-long machine and the constrained space in which the manoeuvre took place - sometimes with just millimetres to spare.

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