Excavation works have begun for the proposed Victoria Park Tunnel in Auckland, New Zealand.

The work involves digging a 700m trench and a 450m covered tunnel running under Victoria Park, which will pave the way to begin work underground.

The existing Victoria Park Viaduct has also been reconfigured to carry four southbound traffic lanes by mid-2012, and the tunnel will be opened to three lanes of northbound traffic in the future.

The tunnel is being built using the cut-and-cover method, where the walls of the tunnel are built first followed by the installation of roof beams and finally, the tunnel operating systems and services.

The Victoria Park Tunnel project is one of the country’s seven roads of national significance highlighted by the New Zealand Government as essential to economic growth in the future.