Sunday, 17 December 2017

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An opening ceremony and ribbon cutting - attended by Prime Minister Bill English - started at 10.30am, with thousands of pedestrians and cyclists - who booked the event out within hours - now making their way through the tunnel. English addressed media and spectators at the opening ceremony and paid tribute to all those who had worked hard to bring the project to life. Aucklanders get their first look at the brand new Waterview tunnel. "I know the public will really appreciate it, and I hope they'll have a real sense of ownership with this next step." The massive roading project was earmarked to open at Easter, but holdups due to a fault with the tunnel's jet fan and water extraction pump system have meant vehicles won't be allowed in until early July. Transport Minister Simon Bridges touted the tunnel as the biggest change to Auckland traffic flows since the opening of the Harbour Bridge. From left; Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Prime Minister Bill English and Finance Minister Steven Joyce officially ... "We really need to thank the workers, some 11,000 people have worked on this tunnel - 1800 a day at its peak," Bridges said. After the ceremony, thousands began to pile through the entrance of the tunnel as Auckland mayor Phil Goff greeted the excited crowd at the entrance.

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