Tunnelling machine leaves New Zealand


Alice’s ‘heart’, the main drive for the Tunnel Boring Machine, has made its last New Zealand journey.

With the help of dozens of support vehicles and their crews, the 270-tonne main drive was moved a couple of weeks ago from the Waterview Connection’s Owairaka site to the Ports of Auckland.

Because of its huge weight, the main drive was shifted on the back of a 48-axle, double-width trailer, pulled by three tractor units, with another one behind to give it an extra push.

The convoy made its way along Sandringham Road, through Mt Eden and Grafton to the port.

"The journey took three hours to complete and it’s a credit to all those involved in the months of planning and organisation that it went so smoothly given the size of the load," says tunnel construction manager Chris Ashton.

"There will be more large transport movements in the next few weeks as other sections are packed up but none as large or as significant, given the role the TBM has played in the Waterview project."

The main drive and the other largest section of the TBM, the erector, will then be loaded and shipped back to the manufacturer, Herrenknecht’s main factory in Germany.

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