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Features of Waterview Connection Project

Discuss about the Engineering Management.

Waterview Connection project is considered as a tunnel project. The project includes a huge and longer motorway works. The transportation path is established both on the ground and in bored tunnels. The project is proposed by New Zealand Transport Agency. The project is estimated to complete with the budget of 1.7 billion dollars. The project has been commenced in the year 2011 and is expected to be completed by 2017. The Waterview Connection project is going to be the most significant infrastructure development that is going to be taken place in New Zealand. Once the motorway ring route is completed throughout the city, it is expected to unlock the true potential of Auckland and become the world class city (Dearnaley & Mathew, 2010).

The Waterview Connection is a project that has been motorway section , which is to be established through Central or West Auckland in New Zealand. The motorway connects State Highway 20, Mt. Roskill, Point Chevalier, State Highway 16 and Western Ring Route. .  The project has gained much of visibility and attention throughout the world, because of its tunnel path, which is going to be 2.5 km long, out of 45 kilo meters long ring road.  The project is expected to have over 83,000 vehicles passing through the Waterview Connection, by 2026. Each of the tunnel is going to have 3 lanes (NZTA, 2016). The operating speed is expected to have 80 km per hour. Once the project is completed, Waterview Connection is going to be the longest road tunnel in New Zealand.

The Waterview Connection project, according the final alignment, 205 houses are expected to be bulldozed and 160 fewer houses are to be demolished, than the number of houses expected before.

There is a pair of tunnels, build and arranged within the link. These tunnels are bored by TMB (Tunnel Boring Machine)’s Earth Pressure balance. The tunnel has the diameter of 14 meters and it is going to be set below 45 meters from the ground surface. The tunnel and tunnelling itself has cost 50 Million NZ Dollars. There have been certain disturbances occurred, such as it holed through, in September, 2014 (Dearnaley & Mathew, 2010).

The project is a national project and it involves the stakeholders both from New Zealand and the other countries. The primary stake holder is Government of New Zealand and the NZ Transport Agency. The other stakeholders, who have prominent contribution in the project are, Auckland Council, Cycle Action Auckland, Campaign for Better Transport, North West Community Association and Friends of Oakley Creek.

Risks Identification

The TBM(tunnel boring machine) is used to bore the tunnels to bore the hard rock of volcanic activity and it was launched on 31st October 2013. There is a probability of the risk of break or damage of the tunnel. This risk is anticipated, since such incident has already been happened. The TBM excavated the southbound tunnel from south to north hold up to september2014 as it is disassembled and reassembled to hole the northern end of northbound tunnel, during this process the tunnel was broken through 19 October 2015 and TBM was dismantled and shipment to the Germany manufacture (Gibson & Anne, 2011).

Another important concern and risk can the storm water. When there will be unexpected rains and storms and if there is no sufficient drainage system to neutralize and clear storm water, there can be a big obstacle developed, within the tunnels. Based on the severity, this risk may even cause loss of lives and loss of property (NZTA, 2016).

There is a probability of physical damage of the tunnels and pathway of the new transport alternate system. The risk of physical damage can be assessed and anticipated, because of the following data and statistics.

The news that arrived in New Zealand radio has found that The Chinese factory that has provided steel for the Waterview connection project and the certificates that are issued are fake. The Ossen innovation factory in Shanghai in China has supplied steel about 600 tonnes for bridges and ramps that are used in the project. The steel used in the project was tested by multi-national company SGS and it was passed and installed correctly (Gibson & Anne, 2011). But transport agency refused to say that the testing was done in Ossen. The transport agency says that the stamps that printed as Shanghai Research Institute of Metals. But SRIM says that certificates are not issued by that company.

This reveals that there are doubts in the quality that has used in the project. There is also saying that the New Zealand buyers are depending on someone else word to approve the satisfactory opinion. The campaign for better transport CBT appeared for hearing before agency saying that the project will not provide better transport in the future.  The CBT expressed its views that the agency did not give evidence to many of the issues.

The first risk is associated with the air pollution. The waterview connection project has been proposed to provide an alternative path for about 83,000 vehicles to pass in a day. The total air pollution that has been emitted from these 83,000 vehicles is going to be a great risk, if the air pollution is not mitigated or such measures are not taken. The air pollution is going to be more dominant, especially, during traffic jams (Gibson & Anne, 2011).

Technical Risks

The probability of increased air pollution, because of the traffic jams and during the regular vehicle passages, cannot be prevented completely. The likelihood of the air pollution is considerably more for the transport context of the project.

The Waterview Connection project is a transport that deals with the public, within the city. The risk of air pollution can lead to concerns of health for the public, who travel through these tunnels. The health concerns can be diseases for lungs, etc.

There is a prominent risk that fears the public, since it will affect the buildings and apartments, present on the way, as they are going to be demolished to provide enough space for the construction of the project.

There is a likelihood of the demolition of the buildings and apartments, as a result of the Waterview Connection project, as it needs a path, which is free from obstructions. The NZ government has to take steps to prevent the consequences like demolition of buildings nearby construction.

In long period of time should expect the traffic volumes and to anticipate the toll revenue so that there may not have problems in in both private sector and public sector. And also should expect the cost of the operating and maintenance.

The Waterview Connection Project may be associated with risk of profits. It is because the total number of vehicles passing through it may keep changing, as the number of vehicles passing through it is dependent on many factors (NZTA, 2016). One of such factors is the price of the fuel. If the price of the fuel is increased, the number of private vehicles can be reduced and the public may rely more on the public transport.

It is not given evidence in the project in increasing fuel prices. In increasing petrol prices from 1.82 dollars to 2.16 dollars this has not been showed. It will lead to the private vehicles reduced and there will be increase the burden on public transport. The agency should focus the estimated fuel price.

And also Mr.Tommy Parker arise a question that the Cost Benefit Ratio varies during the change in the project economy that was not clarified. In ART2 it is said that cost benefit ratio is 2:1 that is if we spend 2 billion $ on the project the returns will be 4 billion dollars. But in ART3 the cost benefit ratio is reduced to 1:2 that is if we spent 2 billion dollars the return will be 2.4 billion dollars and pointed that what happens to other 1.6 billion dollars.

External Risks

It is suggested that NZTA should undertake auditing process for benefits of the project for post construction to improve the economy.

As a consequence, the total revenue generated during the life of the project will be affected. Eventually, there can be fluctuations of the monthly and yearly incomes, which are dependent on the fuel prices and many other factors.

A number of hearings came to the public focus. One of the issues that came into focus was that the shape and locations of the two shaft ventilators between the tunnel entries of northern and southern locations may affect the local visual amenities (Gibson & Anne, 2011). Fresh air should be passed into the tunnels is one of the main effects that Govt. should focus and that the polluted air should not affect local amenities. The primary schools that are located during the path, will be affected badly with the increased air pollution caused by the increased traffic.

There is a probability of increased traffic than the expected 83,000 vehicles per day. It may even cross one lac and in such cases, there will be huge unexpected traffic congested throughout the way. The path may also be used by the cyclists and pedestrians, if they find it beneficial to use (NZTA, 2016).

It can be suggested that the bus, cyclers and walking lanes should be gestured for future benefits which will reduce the traffic.

Waterview Connection is a transport project, to build a new or alternate link, as a solution for the congestion of the traffic. Since, it is a very long and huge project, it is associated many risks. The risks are considerably more, since it deals with the public, who are covered in 45 kilo meters. Overall, there are many risks that have been explored as well as unexplored, in four dimensions called technical, organizational, external and project management (Gibson & Anne, 2011). The above are a few of the risks that are covered and there can be many more risks that can be seen and experienced by the NZTA in the future.

The primary risk that is associated with the Waterview Connection projects and the projects with the same context are the technical risks. The strength of the infrastructure is the first concern for any such projects. For instance, there are always possibilities that any part of the infrastructure can be damaged. When the project, Waterview Connection is considered, there have been certain instances already happened that the tunnels that have been set in their place were damaged and broken. And such issues about the strength of the structures would always be a concern for this project. The other technical risks that can be possible with this project are physical damage or break of the structures, which may result in loss of lives of the passenger, travelling through the link and loss of property that altogether will damage the reputation and profits of the organization (NZTA, 2016). These technical risks would be prominent, if enough care is not taken for the standards of the quality of the material used for the construction of the structures.

Organizational Risks

The project is susceptible to the external risks, as much as the internal and other risks. The external risks can be possible, from the environment, natural calamities or massive use of the structures and infrastructure, etc. For example, a sudden unexpected and massive storm may hinder the operation and strength of the structures of the project. There can be other risks that can be caused from this project, such as increased air pollution, with the increased flow of vehicles, which may easily cross 83,000 vehicles a day (NZTA, 2016). The result of this air pollution can be increased health concern, especially, long related concerns for both the passengers as well as the public, who live and pass in and around the project. Other major concern is the demolition of the existing buildings and other structures in and around the path of the project.

The other risks, which are eventual all kinds of projects are the internal risks or risks associated with the organization. The project is expected to have a certain volume of the vehicles passing through the project and this number may become impractical in the future and the infrastructure developed may not fulfil the much increased requirements of the increased traffic in the future. The revenue and profits is another concern. Since every project needs a large amount of budget, the budget is expected to be returned with a good cost benefit ratio (NZTA, 2016). The toll charges that have been set to generate the revenue may or may not be enough to the expectations for the breakeven and to initiate the profits.

The issues related to the project management are quite normal and prominent for every project. There are risks in terms of project management, such as unexpected volumes of the traffic, risks associated with the coordination of the huge volume of vehicles, clearance of vehicles and providing the first aid and medical administration facilities in cases of accidents and many other risks associated with the amenities and facilities that are needed to be provided for the passengers, who pass through the link and road (NZTA, 2016).







Technical risks, such as breakage, damage of the physical structures


1.      Set uncompromised standards for the quality of the material used in the project

2.      Ensure that the quality is met and not compromised, throughout the life of the project

3.      Ensure the regular and good maintenance of the structures

4.      Choose the vendors, who are quality oriented to supply the material and other products

New Zealand Transport Agency, Government of New Zealand

External risks, such as air pollution, storm water, accidents


1.      Design the architecture of the Waterview Connection project to include the amenities and facilities that can neutralize the air pollution, for instance, by planting trees on the way

2.      Design the architecture of the Waterview Connection project in such a way that the water would not stay stagnant, with sufficient draining of the water, without accumulation

3.      Accidents can be minimized by allocating different and wider paths for different kinds of vehicles and also by regulating the speed of the vehicles passing. Also minimize bottleneck points to minimize the accidents

New Zealand Transport Agency, Government of New Zealand in association with Campaign for better transport, cycle action Auckland and Auckland Council

Organizational risks, such as increased vehicle volume, decline of profits, insufficient toll fees, etc.


1.      Let the planning committee be rational to develop the plan and anticipate accurate figures of the volume of the traffic

2.      Set the toll fee rational, so that the breakeven and profits won’t be delayed

New Zealand Transport Agency, Government of New Zealand in Auckland Council

Project management risks, such as congestion of the traffic with bottlenecks, demolition of the buildings and structures, risks of coordination among various kinds of vehicles and pedestrian, etc.


1.      Design the architecture rationally and plan the project with all the risks considered in the future

2.      Make the path of the road, in such a way that less number of buildings and structures are affected, without compromising the quality and mission of the project

3.      Ensure the project team to be committed to the objective and mission of the project, with no deviations.

New Zealand Transport Agency, Government of New Zealand in association with Campaign for better transport, cycle action Auckland and Auckland Council


Dearnaley, Mathew (2010). "Agency chided over pollution figures". The New Zealand Herald.

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MfE (2010). "Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA)". Ministry for the Environment

MfE (2007). "Chapter 5: Responses to atmospheric change". State of New Zealand's Environment 1997. Ministry for the Environment

Oram, R. (2007). The RMA now and in the future, paper presented at the Beyond the RMA conference, NZ: Environmental Defence Society. 

Harris, Rob (ed.) (2004). Handbook of Environmental Law (2nd Ed.). Wellington: Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand

Lyttelton Tunnel re-opened for emergency vehicles". NZTA media release. Retrieved 2016, September 8, from

n/a, (2009). New website for the NZTA". Pathways. NZ Transport Agency (7)

Dearnaley, Mathew (2006). "Transit puts up red light to growth". The New Zealand Herald

Woodham, Kerre (2006). "Kerre Woodham: Why I'm avoiding the maul". The New Zealand Herald

Mathew, Dearnaley (2006). "Transit may ditch Mt Albert interchange plan". The New Zealand Herald.

Mathew, Dearnaley (2008). "Groups call for three-lane tunnels". The New Zealand Herald

Tiffen, Rachel (26 October 2009). "Team to tackle safety issues on Tamaki Drive". The New Zealand Herald

Wilson, John (2010). "Christchurch–Lyttelton road tunnel". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand.

Dearnaley, Mathew (2010). "Waterview project on fast track". The New Zealand Herald

Pawson, Eric (2010). "Economy and the environment – Page 4 – Regulating economy and environment". Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. 

Wen, Gerald (May 2011)."State Highway Traffic Data Booklet : 2006-2010". NZ Transport Agency. 

Dearnaley, Mathew (2011). "Waterview approval starts race to win contract". The New Zealand Herald.

Gibson, Anne (2011). "Price 'decisive' for Waterview contract". The New Zealand Herald

Thompson, Wayne (2011). "Riders hang tough on breezy bridge". NZ Herald 

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