Taranaki's Mt Messenger tunnel takes on a slightly different shape and a much larger look as a mechanical reamer, operated by Leon Trepels (Auckland) bores it's way into the solid papa formation. The single-lane tunnel will be transformed during the next week or so to two lanes. Downer and Company is doing the work for the Ministry of Works and Development and is working in the evenings only, to minimise interruptions to traffic. The tunnel is closed off at 7.30pm and reopened at 6am, with three half-hour openings during that period. DN 24.06.1983.
Work is progressing steadily on the Mt Messenger tunnel and approaches which involves lowering the tunnel floor and the realignment of approaches. TH 18.10.1983
While the Taranaki economy was enjoying the boom of the "think big" era in the early 1980s the improvement of the north-south highway was a hot topic. Huge trucks, carrying components for the Motunui synfuel plant, needed easier access to their destination. The Mt Messenger tunnel, previously a barrier to large loads (which had to be re-routed to Wanganui) was widened to allow them through. DN 16.09.1989
Mt Messenger tunnel circa late 1920's.
Mt Messenger Tunnel circa September 1968.
A view of the Mt Messenger Tunnel showing part of the road prior to entry. (undated)
627606872 A Hardie Bros (Northland) Ltd truck in the Mt Messenger tunnel 29.01.1969
With little room to spare this truck, brought by Dales Freightways Ltd from Auckland, eases through the Mt Messenger tunnel on its way to Port Taranaki in July 1981. DN 07.07 1981.
Work has started on the massive reconstruction of the Mt Messenger Tunnel. Contractors are building a reinforced earth wall which will eventually form a new road on the southern side of the tunnel. The new road will mean northern bound traffic can see through the tunnel, instead of approaching it blind via a sharp bend. DN 22.12.1981
A large excavation pit on the southern approach to the Mt Messenger road tunnel has attracted the interest of travellers. The workers intend raising the site to road level and widening the approach by up to 13 metres. TH 10.02.1982.
Road and tunnel widening on Mt Messenger was running two to three weeks behind schedule because of unusually hard earth which needs to be removed in the area. A retaining wall has had to be built after massive excavations. The existing road will be dropped about 2.5 metres to create a new road, including that now being filled. DN 04.05.1982.
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