Boring bit is over, Auckland's Waterview tunnels now get all wired up
A fly-over of the Waterview Connection shows the sheer scale of the $1.4 billion motorway project materialising before Aucklanders' eyes.
While tunnel walls and ceilings get fitted out, completion work continues on the project's most visible section - the Great North Road Interchange.
The motorway ramps that sweep and soar above the northwestern motorway will connect to the tunnel closing the loop on New Zealand's largest motorway project hopefully giving Aucklanders a respite from gridlock.
It's hoped Waterview's motorway system will alleviate road congestion by giving users a more direct route to and from Auckland Airport in Mangere and access to the southern motorway further south at Manukau.
And the Waterview route is projected to have substantial effects helping reroute a lot of North Shore traffic through west Auckland and away from the harbour bridge.
Like Alice the specialist tunnel boring machine, Dennis the gantry has completed its job on the interchange and workers are now paving and asphalting connecting motorway ramps.
Inside the tunnels, there's enough wiring to stretch from Auckland to Waiouru and paint covering Auckland Airport three times over being installed.
Agency spokeswoman Sarah Azam said at 90 per cent complete, workers are now busily fitting out the tunnels with 4000 lights, 62 ventilation fans, 400 kilometres of wiring and splashing on more than 140,000 litres of paint.
Safety equipment like CCTV cameras and a fire 'deluge' system are also being fitted in the tunnels.
More than 1000 workers are on track to complete the New Zealand Transport Agency project on time in early 2017, Azam said.
Meanwhile, thousands of tons of tunnel spoil is continuing to be compacted at a Wiri quarry.
Each of the two tunnels is three lanes wide and 2.4km long, and are the longest road tunnels in the country - the Lyttleton road tunnel is 1.97km.
The project hasn't been without snags, weak concrete supplied in April, 2015 had to be replaced.