“An aerial view showing Christchurch in relation to the magnificent natural harbour of Lyttelton, and the proposed highway and vehicular tunnel through the barrier of the Port Hills which, in conjunction with the present railway, will enable the city to employ modern transport methods in the carriage of goods and passengers to and from the ships.”
Although a rail tunnel linking Lyttelton to Christchurch had been in existence since 1867, it wasn’t until 1956 that legislation was passed allowing for the construction of the Lyttelton Road Tunnel. Construction began in 1962 and was completed in 1964, opening on 27 February.
Do you have any photographs of the Lyttelton Road Tunnel? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.
Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.
You can go through the Lyttelton Road Tunnel on foot, by bike, or skateboard on Sunday 31 August, from 9.30am to 12.30pm. At the other end of the tunnel, there will be a market day in Lyttelton hosted by the Lyttelton Harbour Business Association. The library mobile van will be outside the Lyttelton Library, with storytelling for children.This occasion celebrates 50 years of the Tunnel, the opening of the new tunnel control building and national recognition for its engineering heritage. Read more: Triple celebration for Lyttelton Tunnel. NZ Transport Agency: Southern Region and Cycling in Christchurch.
On Monday 1 September at 7 pm Jack Smith, who was involved in the tunnel construction, will speak in the Lyttelton Library about his experiences and promote the book he has written as part of the Fletcher Construction history series, No job too hard.
The Lyttelton Road Tunnel opened 27 February 1964 creating a vital link between the city of Christchurch, New Zealand and its port Lyttelton. The tunnel complemented the long established Lyttelton Rail Tunnel. It is the longest road tunnel in New Zealand.
The Lyttelton Road Tunnel Administration Building at the Heathcote (Christchurch) end of the tunnel was designed by Christchurch architect Peter Beaven. The distinctive building was demolished in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes.
NZTA reports the new $1.5 million tunnel control building, designed by Wellington-based Architecture Lab and built by local company Higgs Construction to 160 percent of the Building Code, signals a new era for the operation of the tunnel.