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Bet tunnels didn’t cost this much at Messines

Written By: - Date published: 7:33 am, August 8th, 2012 - 43 comments
Categories: transport - Tags:

How does it cost $75m to dig a 220m long tunnel? The Government is planning to tear up the 5-year old bypass road and put it underground to give space for the National War Memorial for $75m. You’re never going to win opposing a war memorial – even though the Nats cancelled it in 2009, which is why the cost is so high doing it at the last minute before the centenary of Gallipoli – but $350,000 a metre for a tunnel?

Update- turns out there will only be about 150m of tunnel. Oh and the government is going to slam through legislation called, honestly, the War Memorial Enabling Act. Don’t these puerile know their history? When critics call the CERA law the Gerry Brownlee Enabling Act, they’re not being complimentary – the term Enabling Act is synonymous with the seizure of dictatoral powers.

43 comments on “Bet tunnels didn’t cost this much at Messines”

  1. insider 1

    Sounds cheap for a tunnel. Vic park was a cut and cover and cost $340m and is only 440m long? Original estimate was $1m/ metre.

    I think the cost will be much higher. They were talking $120 to $180 m last year. They may have cut back all the fire safety equipment or the cost is not the full and finished cost.

    Bigger political issue is JK is wanting to build grand legacy projects and he’s not even into his third term

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      Vic park included other works on the approaches to the Harbour Bridge

      Isnt this funding being met from Lottery grants ? Funny way to pay for a tunnel !. I would have thought a tunnel on SH1 was a Road Transport expense.
      I suppose they have spent all the money in the Wellington region on consultants for RoNs and have nothing left for actual roading in the next 2 years

    • Lightly 1.2

      Buckle st is two lanes. Victoria Park is a 3 lane tunnel, plus the addition of two lanes through St Mary’s Bay, and making the flyover four lanes southbound.

    • Tracey 1.3

      Are you saying vic park came in under budget????

    • mike e 1.4

      This is to take the heat off afghany war dead young healthy Kiwis with children .
      Key is buying their valour 10 million each.
      This memorial could be moved to where broadcasting house was for a $2 or $3 million.
      Mean while Paula Bennitto will have the solo mums left benefits cut.
      Those who pay the highest sacrifice get the least finacial reward army pay has been frozen for 4 years under Nactuf while the smile and wave takes the glory of many photo ops.

  2. Te Reo Putake 2

    “Bet tunnels didn’t cost this much at Messines”
    I guess it depends on the value you place on the lives of Kiwi soldiers.

    • Tracey 2.1

      It has nothing to do with the value of dead soldiers. That is an emotional non argument. Did soldiers die in a rain of bullets so we could divert money from schools and health to statues????

      About 100 workers die in workplace deaths every year, what value do we place on their lives? No memorials that’s for sure, and the PM doesn’t attend the funeral of all who perish working for state or state owned enterprises.

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        I agree Tracey although I did have misgivings about the title of the post. I await the day when the PM goes to the funerals and tangi of those who die from preventable, poverty related circumstances. I’d like to see the PM weeping and wailing, and vowing that the government will do everything and anything to ensure that type of death never happens again in this country.

      • Te Reo Putake 2.1.2

        There are worker’s memorials in NZ cities, Tracey. And every year, on the 28th of April, unionists and supporters of work rights meet to commemorate those who are injured and killed in NZ industry. Be good to see you at the next one.

    • mike e 2.2

      trp ‘nuclear test’ soldiers.Vietnam vets ‘agent orange’
      haven;t got one cent of compensation.
      yet their families are still paying the price with genetic deformities.
      Like wise families of the soldiers who have given their lives would be a better place to spend this money, move the monuments not the motorway.
      this is just another publicity stunt.
      our fallen deserve better.

  3. Up2u 3

    Not only is buckle street already perfectly functional but it is an arterial road connecting the basin reserve and mt Victoria tunnel to Karo drive and the motorway. Where is the traffic going to go while this stupid idea is being built? Cars moving from the eastern suburbs to the motorway will likely have to drive around putting a much larger volume of traffic through courtenay place, wakefield and newtown. All I can see is this causing major traffic delays for how many months that it probably takes to build. Besides it’s pointless as the corrilIon already stands memorial to new Zealand’s soldiers

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1

      The land across the road from the Cenotaph has been cleared and will be eventually included in the proposed park.

      I would think they could divert the road over this while the tunnel is being done

    • insider 3.2

      They will run a temporary parallel road on the vacant land up buckle st, build the tunnel, put traffic down there and build the park. No need to divert traffic

    • Kent Duston 3.3

      Buckle Street isn’t “perfectly functional” as you claim. The original proposal for the Inner City Bypass said that the diversion of traffic from the waterfront onto the bypass would result in the Quays being reduced to four lanes rather than the current six, which – of course – has never happened. NZTA acknowledge that the bypass has never worked as designed, and tellingly have never assessed the road to see whether the (entirely mythical) benefits they claimed for building it have ever been realised.

      And not to make too fine a point of it, if as a car driver you’re unhappy with the congestion levels while the road is being constructed, take the bus.

      • insider 3.3.1

        blame your friend the mayor if the quays have not been reduced – they are wcc roads.

        Buses don’t go down buckle st

        • Kent Duston

          I think it’s a great idea to lay the blame for the Quays at the foot of the mayor responsible for taking no action to implement the changes … only that would be Kerry Prendergast, as the inner city bypass happened on her nine year watch. Credit where credit’s due, after all.

           Buses don’t go down Buckle Street, well spotted. That means they’ll avoid all the congestion caused by the construction, and so should be the transport tool of choice for anyone feeling put out by the disruption.

  4. Up2u 4

    Not only is buckle street already perfectly functional but it is an arterial road connecting the basin reserve and mt Victoria tunnel to Karo drive and the motorway. Where is the traffic going to go while this stupid idea is being built? Cars moving from the eastern suburbs to the motorway will likely have to drive around putting a much larger volume of traffic through courtenay place, wakefield and newtown. All I can see is this causing major traffic delays for how many months that it probably takes to build.

  5. Tom Gould 5

    I seem to recall this project was on the books under Clark, but fell over because of the Tory bitch of a mayor playing politics. Now we have a Greenie mayor and it’s all systems go. IMO it’s a worthy project and who cares what it costs.

    • Lightly 5.1

      well, surely cost enters into it. There are lots of things that are worthy but doing them would cost so much that we couldn’t do other things. In a finite world, we can’t just do everything and anything good, we have to do the best things we can afford to do with the resources we have.

      For instance, $75m is the cost of extending paid parental leave from 13 to 26 weeks for the 15,000 or so women who get it each year. So, the price of the tunnel could be seen as 4,000 years of mother/baby bonding time..

      Or, it’s roughly the cost of producing a 1,000 trained university graduates in science or engineering.

      that’s not to say don’t do it. It’s just don’t disregard the cost entirely

      • Tracey 5.1.1

        Hear hear. It’s not being anti dead soldiers… it’s being pro the future they died for.

        • Tom Gould

          I think a tunnel is capex and the parental leave thing is opex. The road costs $75m once. The other thing costs $75m or whatever each year, and rising. Over the life of the tunnel, could be billions.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.2

      No it was canned by National under ‘the review of wasteful spending’ when they got into power

      • insider 5.2.1

        Clark never funded it in the first place.

        It was nothing to do with Wellington mayors

    • alwyn 5.3

      You appear to be living in some sort of alternate universe. The current Green mayor, who concealed that fact while campaigning, is totally opposed to ANY form of roading developement in Wellington.
      She tried to get the work around the Basin Reserve cancelled by demanding a tunnel through the whole area, at enormous expense. She wanted the council to refuse any form of affordable proposal.
      When she got rolled by other, more sensible, councillors she did an immediate flip-flop and changed her vote. After that she then went back to trying to sabotage the whole scheme.

      • prism 5.3.1

        Thanks alwyn 5.3 – it’s good to get some light on this. You seem to be keeping a close watch. Necessary for understanding the twists and turns of political rope I think. If strong enough I guess one can use it to abseil away from tricky places.

      • infused 5.3.2

        Yes, she is a total idiot.

  6. Up2u 6

    Buckle street already perfectly functional and it is an arterial road connecting the basin reserve and mt Victoria tunnel to Karo drive and the motorway. Where is the traffic going to go while this is being built? Cars moving from the eastern suburbs to the motorway will likely have to drive around putting a much larger volume of traffic through courtenay place, wakefield and newtown. All I can see is this causing major traffic delays for how many months that it probably takes to build.

  7. ad 7

    Cut-and-cover is pretty common in Auckland. The costs are always brutal. The construction technology was recently refined in New Zealand through the New Lynn rail trench job, Victoria Park, and Package 1 AMETI, and they are planning to use ot for the Albert Street part of City Rail Link. Wellington is pretty lucky with its downtown grid – there should be good Temporary Traffic Management options for construction.

    Full covered trenched motorways are good. Wish they would do it more in the main cities.

    • erentz 7.1

      “Full covered trenched motorways are good.” But full, covered, trenched motorway this isn’t. In fact, this is part of a series of plans that will make it impossible for Wellington to ever have a full covered trenched motorway along this route. It is a ridiculous, cynical, short sighted waste of money that could be put to better use.

  8. prism 8

    My birth father is buried in France – died along with his crew in WW2. Nobody asked me whether $millions should be spent on an extra park in Wellington for his memory and that of other dead forces people because of some anniversary of their deaths. Why should a calendar date be the reason to open the country’s purse in these tight times when money is needed all over the place, hospitals being one? There are needs and new sacrifices that should be funded and honoured.

    I say that building a memorial for the dead Pike miners on the West Coast is a project of national significance and importance. Then spend the rest of the money burrowing into the rock (using space age technology too if it has some practical use on earth) and get out the men’s bones and remains and box them respectfully and bury them with great ceremony.

    It is for ordinary people in NZ and the world that these ordinary men and women fought in their extraordinary way. It is fitting that any money that some dry has found to build an extra monument and park beyond that existing to honour the dead servicepeople from war should go to honour these new dead who died at Pike River serving their country’s economy.

    Some schemer has identified this project as building on the popularity of Anzac Day making it of high National Party Significance. Especially as that Party will try to prevent Mondayising the holiday and want to get some good vibes for themselves the ba…s.

  9. This is an expensive project. It is however, a rare example in New Zealand of roading and urban design working together to make the city more usable. I dislike this government as much as the next person, but am really happy to see this project proceeding, and don’t understand the desire to slam it just because they are proposing it. The whole bypass should have been done like this in the first place, so state highway one isn’t cutting through the centre of Wellington. This project will not only provide for an extended War Memorial area, but more importantly is it provides safe pedestrian and bike access from the south of wellington to down town. It’s a key link in getting a safe functioning bike path from island bay to the waterfront, and removes state highway 1 from the near by Mt Cook school This is an option that the architecture centre in Wellington has been campaigning for the past few years. It is a victory for commonsense, long term urban thinking. Which is in itself a slap in the face of Gerry Brownlee who seems convinced that roading has nothing to do with urban design. The logic that leads to this sort of project is the same logic that leads to the funding of the rail network in Auckland and the cancelling of the holiday highways.

    • bad12 9.1

      And it will make a nice place for people to wait for the soupy’s to open for dinner just round the corner in Tory street…

    • rosy 9.2

      +1 Barnaby. The bypass was full of expensive mistakes and this (expensively) corrects one of them. The war memorial park should have been incorporated as the bypass was built – cost cutting on this sort of thing gets you nowhere. Similarly, once the land was bought and buildings demolished it should have gone ahead. Now it’s costlier than ever.

      People who have seen memorials take place between the road and the tomb of the unknown warrior can see the area is completely unsuitable as a war memorial, especially because of the international diplomatic nature of these things, and it needs fixing or shifting.

      And as for Buckle Street being perfectly functional – surely that comes from someone who doesn’t get out of a car around that area! Try walking or cycling along there, it’s a nightmare. My biggest concern is that this won’t improve it – there’s such a great opportunity to get walking and cycling paths right – but this will probably end up as an afterthought and therefore inadequate.

      And bad12 – yep it’s be a better place to wait for the soup kitchen than under an overpass around the Basin Reserve. 😉

  10. captain hook 10

    more fiddling and fartassing about.
    the RSA must be filed with geriatric nitwits who have read too many cowby books in their dotage and now want to leave their mark.
    why dont they put in a miniature steam railway while they are about it.

    • prism 10.1

      captain hook
      You’ve hit on a good scheme. Take it further – a miniature version of Kiwirail’s network and rolling stock. That may be all we will have soon if left to the present management of NZ Inc.

  11. prism 11

    A good reasoned comment. My feeling is that on priorities it is not the right time. If it is part of a better roading system then it needs to come out of the NZ Transport Authority budget. My point about monuments and honouring dead people pointing to Pike River still stands.

  12. Quite appropriate really, this is what our soldiers fought and died for, and still do, a rampant capitalist class to dig it, drill it, shit in it and sell it.

  13. Easter Island comes to mind, what a bunch of losers humans are.

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