Transport Minister Steven Joyce says construction of the Victoria Park Road of National Significance is progressing well, with the tunnel expected to be open to traffic in November – well ahead of schedule.
Work will be complete in February – a year and 3 months earlier than initially planned.
“When I turned the first sod on this project in November 2009, a year ahead of its original start date, the projected completion date was mid-2012,” says Mr Joyce.
"Victoria Park was identified as road of national significance in March because it is a key bottleneck on State Highway 1 and is of great importance to the Auckland economy."
“It will greatly ease congestion for the 160,000 plus vehicles that use this route each day.
The $340 million Victoria Park Tunnel project was the first of the Government’s seven roads of national significance (RoNS) to commence construction. The seven RoNS have been prioritised to reduce congestion, improve safety and support economic growth in New Zealand.
The Victoria Park Tunnel will increase the capacity of State Highway 1 between the Auckland Harbour Bridge and Newmarket, one of the country’s busiest freight and business routes.
Mr Joyce says the government's billion dollar boost to state highway funding over three years has provided a secure funding pipeline which has given contractors the confidence to continue investing in people and machinery and complete projects more quickly.
“This is a project that may in fact never have happened if Labour had cut back on state highway funding as planned. I’m pleased now to be able to deliver this hugely important project even earlier than we had hoped.”
Last week the Minister announced that the Hobsonville Motorway would be complete six months ahead of schedule. Last year the southbound part of the Newmarket Viaduct opened six months early and the Manukau Harbour crossing also opened early