Case Study: Waterview Tunnel NZ

Nov 18
Author:Ash Natesh
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David Barron, Operations Manager, Waterview Tunnel Joint Operation presented his Case study at the Tunnel Operations and Maintenance Conference 2018.

The Waterview Tunnel is a key piece of the Western Ring Route, a 48 km motorway route through the west of Auckland, connecting Manukau, the city, West Auckland and the North Shore. The 2.4km Waterview Tunnel between Pt Chevalier and Mt Roskill opened in July 2017, and cost $1.4b to build.

Tunnel Design

• Twin Bore Tunnel
• Southbound length 2.3km
• Northbound length 2.4km
• 45m Depth
• Internal diameter 13.1m
• 3 traffic lanes each direction
• No Shoulder
• Max. vertical grade 5%
• 18 Cross-passages, spaced at 150m
• No Wall Cladding, EMT, Extinguishers
• Prohibit Dangerous Goods Vehicles             

Fire Safety and Fitouts in the Tunnel

• M & E Fitout
• AVID – Citilog
• 175 Deluge Zones– 1.2 million litres
• LED Lighting
• Fire Hydrants 50m apart
• PA & RRB
• 62 Jet Fans
• Exhaust System – 2 x 15m High Vent stacks
• Portal VMS, TVMS & LSU Lane control
• UPS – 24 hours
• High Voltage supply from two separate Substations

Construction Issues that they faced while building the Tunnel:

• Badly Engineered Sprinkler Valves
• Delay in Jet Fan Delivery
• Cross passage Construction delays – Poor Planning

Operating a Tunnel, Where do you start?
Start with developing a plan to show why road is being constructed and how the new
road layout should work and ensure you have local community support.

Concept of Operations

How will we work in NZTA area? The CoO outlines how the network is managed at a conceptual
level. It is intended to guide the development of SOP for normal, incident and planned scenarios. This is for the WRR area and is about traffic management on both Motorway &
Arterial roads.

What are the key things to keep in mind?

• Shared Vision
• Alignment of all parties
• Risk Mitigation
• Considers whole of network and specific journeys.
• Clarity of role and responsibilities of all in terms of interventions, maintenance and operations now and into the future.

Combined Control Room

The team can really benefit with a combined control room. The benefits include:

• One Network Philosophy – NZTA & AT
• Geography
• Shared IT Network
• Existing Infrastructure – Video Wall
• Communication – C2C • NZTA Request
• Network Knowledge – Concept of Operations
• Incident Management Structure

Incident Response Report for Waterview Tunnel:

1350 IRC callout in first 9 months
• Average 5 incidents per day
• No serious incidents
• Out of fuel – 2 out of 5
• 4 IRC Crews – 4X4 shifts
• 2 Response Ute’s
• 3 TMA’s
• Towing Contractor

Lessons Learnt from the construction of the Waterview Tunnel:

1. SOP’ for incident response – 2 years ago
2. Get the training system up and running ASAP – even if really basic
3. If it was promised then make sure it’s delivered. Even post opening
4. Everything is a training opportunity – Get operators involved

Don’t miss key speakers like Sallo Van Der Woude (President Dutch Tunneling Association & Project Manager Van Hattum En Blankevoort) sharing his insights and case studies on tunnels in the Netherlands, at the Tunnel Operations & Maintenance Conference, 20th & 21st February 2019, Sydney.


Submitted by Ash Natesh

Ash Natesh

Ash is the Content Marketer at Criterion Conferences. Writing and sourcing content is all part of her day to day routine. She can’t stop drinking coffee, other than coffee her interests lie in Music, long walks amidst the mountains, Dance, Anime, Science Fiction and all things nerdy!

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