Second Auckland Harbour Crossing


Auckland is projected to have an increasing population and vehicle movements over the upcoming years and decades. An additional million people are projected to call Auckland home over the next 30 years.

The Auckland Harbour Bridge has a level of service during peak times of E/F – the most congested measure on the scale.

Every year Auckland commuters spend 20 working days stuck in traffic. On top of the huge frustration that causes, traffic congestion is estimated to cost over $1 billion a year in lost productivity.

Population and travel demand growth is forecast to increase by around 22% (an additional 40,000 vehicles per day) by 2041.

The structural capacity of the current Harbour Bridge has been maximised, meaning there is no room for additional capacity to be added.

Based on projected growth, restrictions will be required in the future in the absence of an additional crossing. This will limit heavy traffic access to the harbour bridge forcing a large detour via the Western Ring Route, taking up extra time and fuel, adding costs to businesses and consumers.

The current harbour bridge is too steep to allow for heavy or light rail between Auckland, the North Shore and further north.

Our commitment

A road and rail tunnel under the Waitemata Harbour. This is likely to be from Esmonde Road on the North Shore to Wynyard Quarter in the CBD.

This is a commitment to NZTA’s Additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing (AWHC) road and rail project.

The tunnel is expected to take between five and seven years to construct.


Combined road and rail tunnels under the Waitemata Harbour, likely between Esmonde Road on the North Shore and Wynyard Quarter in the CBD.

Two double-decker tunnels, one northbound and one southbound, with road and rail on separate levels.

This would entail an approximately 5km tunnel under the Waitemata Harbour and Shoal Bay.

The road link would join with State Highway 1 at both ends of the tunnel.

The Northern Busway would be converted in time into a rail corridor and would join the tunnel at Esmonde Road.

The project would also require a rail tunnel under the Auckland CBD to connect the new Northern rail with the Britomart Precinct.

You can find a copy of the Factsheet here