Saturday, October 29, 2011

Victoria Park Tunnel

South entrance to the new Victoria Park tunnel, Auckland, New Zealand
It's open ... well, just to foot traffic today.  Motorists will have to wait a few more weeks before they're allowed to drive through the new tunnel.  Finished ahead of schedule by a good couple of months this new cut and cover tunnel should make life rather easier for those folk on the North Shore as they battle their way home after work.  I can't say I'm convinced it will have either a significant or long lasting benefit, but let's wait and see.

9.30am and the gates opened.  Close by Victoria Park are a couple of 'evacuation' points which hopefully will only be used for the maintenance crews to access the tunnel.  It was through these evacuation points that we gained access to the road beneath.  Several flights of stairs and then, there it was.  All three lanes of the north bound State Highway One. The lanes seemed a little narrow, but perhaps that was just my imagination?

On leaving the tunnel we were impressed by the new skate park. I took a couple of shots of the Maori carvings you can see in the park that I've included at the end of this post.
Welcome to the tunnel!  Clever use of lighting ensures your eyes have time to adjust to the darkness as you enter and the bright sunlight as you exit.  This shot was taken at the Northern end of the tunnel as the road approaches Westhaven Marina.
Access way underneath Victoria Park.  The road is off to the right behind the wall.   Fireproof access ways are provided every 25m in case anything untoward happens on the road.

Contrast between old and new?  Traditional Maori carving and the more modern Skytower in the background.

Old style formatting with a light vignette to accentuate the traditional nature of this carving.

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