The Arras Tunnel and National War Memorial Park were built to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, and recognise the 2,721 New Zealand fatalities in the Gallipoli campaign.
To commemorate the centenary of the First World War, the Ministry of Culture and Heritage funded the construction of Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. To make this park possible, State Highway 1 had to be diverted under the site through an underpass – Arras Tunnel.
The Memorial Park Alliance was formed to undertake the project. A challenging project, it needed to be delivered at pace in a busy central Wellington area with high volumes of vehicle and foot traffic – and with minimal traffic disruption.
The resulting 130m-long tunnel blends sophisticated information technology (including 24/7 monitoring, and safety and traffic management systems) with a reminder that the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park is being built on top of it – the walls are lined with 273 decorative red poppies, symbolising the 2,721 New Zealand fatalities in the Anzac Gallipoli campaign.
It opened one month ahead of schedule in September 2014.