Northland Tunnel waterproofing

13 May 2020

Waterproofing work on the heritage-listed Northland Tunnel means it will be temporarily off limits to pedestrians and vehicles.

The Northland Tunnel.

The Northland Tunnel is heritage listed.

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From May to July 2020, we are waterproofing the Northland Tunnel. 

The tunnel is in very good structural condition, and had earthquake strengthening work completed in 2017. 

However, there is a longstanding issue with ground water seepage penetrating the internal barrel joints of the tunnel which results in the increase in maintenance costs. To resolve the issue, we have contracted Concrete Solutions Ltd to apply a suitable waterproofing system to prevent seepage. 

Jone Sumasafu, Civil/Structures Project Engineer at Wellington City Council, says we aim to complete the maintenance with minimal disruption to the local community however, there will be some disruption we want all traffic and pedestrians to be aware of.

The tunnel will be closed to traffic and pedestrians between 12am and 5am for the week starting Sunday 17 May to Sunday 24 May.

From Monday 25 May, the tunnel will be down to one lane, controlled by traffic lights, between 7am and 4pm.

“While we always ask that people stay well clear of construction activity for everybody’s safety, there is an added need to keep your distance as we all observe physical distancing of two metre spacing in response to Covid-19,” says Jone.

Northland Tunnel links Northland with the central city and Karori. The tunnel was constructed in 1923 with the first tram service eventually commencing on the 4 June 1928 after many years of ‘start-stop-start’ construction work.

“The tunnel is listed as a heritage object in the District Plan because of the classical style arched opening entrances. It is important that we maintain the tunnel to keep it operating for local residents,” says Jone.

For more information on the project, please visit: https://wellington.govt.nz/your-council/projects/northland-tunnel-waterproofing