Snells Beach School students visit Tunnel Boring Machine

Some small visitors got a close-up look at the big Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) that’s about to install a new wastewater pipe running from Snells Beach to Martins Bay.
The lay-down area is located close to Snells Beach School and there’s a lot of interest in the project, so last year, we paid them a visit and got the students to do some painted hand prints. They also organised a naming competition for the TBM.  “Starlight Piper” aka Piper, was the winning name and this was the first opportunity for the youngsters to see her in person― as well as the handprints, which had been turned into decorative stickers.
Watercare stakeholder liaison advisor, Leanne McKenzie says the five youngsters received VIP treatment when they arrived on-site: “We made sure everyone had a high-vis vest and our contractor, McConnell Dowell gave them a customised safety briefing.
“First, we had a look at the lay-down site, then we hopped into cars to drive to see the TBM. I think the students were quietly over-whelmed by the size and scale of the machine!”
After a few questions and a quick look inside the cab of a digger, it was time to return to school.
In January, work began on another four km pipe section, using open trenching and running from Miller Way to Dawson Road. A marine section will also be tunnelled to allow installation of a new outfall pipe, leading out into the Hauraki Gulf. Traffic lay-out changes are in place along Mahurangi East Road while this takes place.
The Snells Beach-Algies Bay region is experiencing rapid growth. The replacement pipes and outfall pipe will provide resilience and protect the environment.
At a later stage, a new wastewater pipe will be laid from Warkworth to a new Snells-Algies Wastewater Treatment Plant. The route for this is still to be finalised. The old Warkworth Wastewater Treatment Plant will then be decommissioned.