Under the Roads of National Significance programme, the Waterview Connection was promoted as the final section of the Auckland Motorway network. The first schemes proposed an overland route or a combined overland/tunnel system that removed large swathes of residential land and severed communities. There was vigorous opposition from all quarters to this plan that eventually saw the NZTA consider the alignment that is the Waterview Connection. The eventual scheme progressed to a Board of Enquiry process in 2010 and in June 2011 the final decision from the BOI was released. During the BOI process, the NZTA commenced the procurement process to find Alliance partners to design, construct and operate the project.
The Well-Connected Consortium of Fletcher Construction, McConnell Dowell, Obayashi Corporation, Parson Brinkerhoff New Zealand, Beca Infrastructure and Tonkin+Taylor were confirmed as the preferred Alliance partners. Sub-Alliance and sub-consultants included SICE, Wilson Tunnelling, Downer EDI Works, and Boffa Miskell.
The Waterview Connection project demonstrates how an infrastructure project was utilised to leverage enhanced landscape and ecological outcomes. The infrastructure component of the project, the motorway, had the potential to sever communities. The landscape concept sought to connect the communities through shared landscape outcomes that greatly enhanced the public open spaces whilst providing improved ecological outcomes for Auckland’s longest urban stream. New recreation facilities and pedestrian/cycle access routes have been established and communities have been re-connected.
The Waterview Connection is a world-class infrastructure project. The client – and most importantly, the community – are pleased.
The Waterview connection project exemplifies a sophisticated design-led approach in order to tackle the immense scale of this infrastructure project. Motorways are by definition linear corridors and present a number of challenges and opportunities, practical and innovative solutions by the design team demonstrate the level of thought applied to ensure positive project outcomes.
The design embodies a sense of place in all aspects of the project. Described as the Volcanic highway, the project reflects the rich layers of natural processes and lava fields and unifies these layers through a restorative landscape. Materiality and planting recognise the rocky nature of the volcanic substrate and the concrete environment of a roading corridor, while providing an energised start to a long-term green corridor.
The project recognises the opportunities to provide city-wide connectivity, not only for vehicles but pedestrians as well. Continuous pathways/cycleways and water courses have been achieved and there is a feeling of continuity even on the narrowest sections. Through incorporating the various open spaces and parklets and stitching them together around the highway walls the project creates numerous activity areas, each grounded with their own sense of place.
The lengthy process required extensive consultation with numerous stakeholders, a wide range of landowners, community and tangata whenua - all no doubt with disparate aspirations. And the team are to be commended on bringing it all together and achieving an outcome which adds to, rather than diminishes the landscape, no more so than at the interchange, where restoration of a coastal forest balances the scale of engineering works, and celebrates the history of the harbour.
The scope, vision, thoughtfulness and perseverance of the team makes this project a worthy category Winner.
Client: The Well-Connected Alliance
Company: Boffa Miskell
Boffa Miskell: Alex Smith, Alistair McCullough, Caroline Patton, Kieran Dove,
Mark Lewis, Matt Henderson, Sarah Collins, Peter Whiting
The Well-Connected Alliance
NZ Transport Agency
Tonkin & Taylor
Warren and Mahoney