Rutherford College students win Waterview challenge

By: Media Release

Students from Auckland’s Rutherford College have been congratulated by the NZ Transport Agency after winning a special engineering-based challenge related to New Zealand’s largest roading project, the Waterview Connection.

The challenge involved the correct use of plastic segments to build the section of a tunnel in the fastest time. The Waterview project includes the construction of twin motorway tunnels, 2.4km long.

The three students defeated teams from 14 other Auckland colleges. Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Minister of Tertiary Education Steven Joyce were present for the challenge which was held at the Waterview Connection’s project office in Mt Roskill.

The challenge was one part of an initiative by the Ministry of Education and the Tertiary Education Commission to encourage more college students to consider engineering-related careers and to choose the required subjects in their senior years at college.

The initiative has been supported by the NZ Transport Agency and the Well-Connected Alliance, which is constructing the Waterview Connection for the agency. As part of the initiative, groups of 16 Year 10 students from 16 colleges were also given a rare behind-the-fences view of the project when they visited its construction sites during August.

The NZ Transport Agency’s group manager, highways and network operations, Tommy Parker says Waterview is more than just a huge infrastructure project.

"It has an international reputation for its skill and innovation, and it’s great to be able to show some of that clever expertise to encourage students to think about engineering as a career."

"We’ve thoroughly enjoyed giving the students a chance to visit and we know it’s a worthwhile investment in New Zealand’s future."

The Waterview Connection – which includes construction of the two tunnels and the Great North Road Interchange to connect Auckland’s Northwestern and Southwestern Motorways – will complete the Western Ring Route to provide an alternative north/south route to State Highway 1. It is planned to open in early 2017.

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