The opening of the new Waterview Tunnel has been affected by delays, uncertainty and swirling rumours of problems with the ventilation system, fire sprinklers and even the quality of the reinforced concrete used in its construction.
So news of its opening in July, 3 to 4 months later than planned, have boosted the confidence of the public. There’s also been keen interest in the proposed open day, which will allow people to walk or cycle through the tunnel. The NZ Transport Authority decided to restrict the number of people accessing the tunnel on the open day, with surprising results: 42,000 people reserved places in just a few hours.
According to an anonymous spokesperson for NZTA:
The response to the booking system for the new tunnel has been fantastic. We’re so impressed that we’ve had a brilliant idea: to avoid traffic congestion when the tunnel opens, we’re considering the same sort of rationing system for motorists. We’ll limit the number of cars that use the tunnel each day, with an online booking system.
If you want to use the tunnel, you’ll be able to go online the night before and enter your registration number and credit card details. Anyone caught using the tunnel without a booking will be in big trouble. Don’t quote me on this of course as we haven’t worked out all the details yet. But we will…
Artist’s impression of how the tunnel might look with a lockable gate after hours to prevent bogans using the tunnel late at night
Warning: this is fake news