Tens of thousands of Aucklanders will walk and cycle through Auckland's Waterview Tunnel after it is formally opened tomorrow, before opening for business next month.

The turnout for the five ticketed open days through the twin tunnels will be the city's largest for a public project since the 1950s when 106,000 people walked across the Auckland Harbour Bridge before it was opened by the Governor-General Lord Cobham on May 30, 1959.

Auckland Harbour Bridge was walked by 106,000 pedestrians in May 1959 before it opened. Photo / Herald Archives
Auckland Harbour Bridge was walked by 106,000 pedestrians in May 1959 before it opened. Photo / Herald Archives

After months of delays, Prime Minister Bill English will open the $1.4 billion Waterview Tunnel to complete a second motorway route through Auckland - five years after work started.

Each of the tunnels was bored by a giant machine named Alice. The amount of dirt excavated was enough to fill 320 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

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Over the next 10 days, 60,500 people will get to walk and cycle inside the tunnel, which used 24,000 concrete segments to line the walls, 140,000sq m of paint - black for the roof, white for the walls - 4000 lights and 400km of cabling and wiring.

At 2.4km long, Waterview takes the record off the 1.97km Lyttelton tunnel as the longest road tunnel in New Zealand.

On Monday evening, a champagne and canape Toast the Tunnel event will be held inside the tunnel to raise funds for the Cancer Society. Tickets cost $285.

As well, a film called Motorway has been made about the project. Starring Wallace Chapman, it looks at the Waterview community and the push for the motorway to be built.

Watch the trailer below.