By Taryn Dryfhout
The new Waterview Tunnel may shave more than 20 minutes off commute times, for students traveling to the Massey University Albany campus.
While the opening of the $1.4 billion tunnel resulted in sightseeing-induced gridlock, the tunnel connecting the Western and Southwestern motorways now appears to be providing significant traffic relief, cutting down as much as 20 minutes for drivers traveling to Auckland Airport, and possibly more for those traveling through to the North Shore.
Figures released by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) just days after the tunnel’s opening showed drastic reductions in travel time for those traveling both from, and to the CBD.
According to regular travellers, the tunnel is also drastically reducing the amount of traffic on the alternative State Highways (16 and 20), making the trip shorter for drivers on every route.
With no reported crashes or incidents, and strict rules such as no-lane changing and an 80 km/h speed limit, the tunnel also looks like it may increase safety on the roads.
With university students and school returning after the holidays, only time will tell if the tunnel is going to continue to reduce traffic so significantly, but for now, it seems like it’s a success.