What To Expect At The #ConnectNZ City Rail Link Site Tour
Delegates of the 2019 NZ Summit will have a close look at the City Rail Link project (CRL), the first New Zealand project to be awarded ‘Leading’ Infrastructure Sustainability design rating from ISCA. The CRL is jointly funded by the New Zealand Government and Auckland Council.
Be part of a walk around early construction sites (Contract 1 (C1) and Contract 2 (C2)) of the largest transport infrastructure in New Zealand. The C1 and C2 contracts extend across 600m of the CRL route, and due to attendance numbers, it will not be possible to enter site.
Overall the CRL project represents a 3.45 km twin-tunnel underground rail link up to 42 metres below the city centre transforming the downtown Britomart Transport Centre into a two-way through-station that better connects the Auckland rail network.
It is the largest transport infrastructure project in New Zealand with unique challenges and demanding conditions, not only immediately adjacent to a live railway station but also excavating below sea level with the Waitemata Harbour only a few metres away. On top of that, some remarkable skills and innovation has been used to protect the heritage-listed Chief Post Office (CPO) building in lower Queen Street so that the tunnel boxes could be constructed beneath the building. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2024.
The tour will walk around the perimeter of the project stopping at viewing points to witness work underway. It will start from the Grid AKL and walk approximately 1.8 Km to Britomart Station. Smaller groups will be formed and escorted around the Britomart site as well as along Albert St before returning to the Grid AKL.
Contract 1 included establishing temporary accommodation for Britomart Station’s ticketing and customer service operations, the underpinning of the historic former Chief Post Office building, to allow the construction of the rail tunnels through and under Britomart Station and Queen Street to the site of the Commercial Bay development. Construction commenced in July 2016.
Contract 2 commenced in December 2015 with a ‘pipe jack’ to relocate a major storm water line in Albert Street between Swanson and Wellesley Streets and strengthening and bridging a section of the Orakei Sewer Main at the intersection of Victoria Street and Albert Street. From mid-2016 the contractor commenced piling and excavation of a trench along Albert St (cut and cover method). Construction of tunnels along Albert St from Customs Street to Wyndham Street followed and tunnels are currently approximately 90% complete in this area.
About the City Rail Link Project
The City Rail Link contributes to Auckland’s Vision to become ‘The World Most Liveable City’ and to New Zealand Government priorities including Ministry of Transport overarching priorities of supporting economic growth and productivity, delivering value for money and improving safety, and Ministry for the Environment’s priorities of NZ Waste Strategy, action on climate change objectives and greenhouse gas reduction targets.
The CRL is being designed and constructed to high sustainability standards aiming to set the benchmark for delivering sustainable infrastructure in New Zealand. CRL has been delivered in collaboration with a team of engineers and architects (led by Aurecon and includes Mott Macdonald, Arup and architects Grimshaw & Jasmax). The early contracts are being delivered by two Joint Venture contracts, Downer NZ and Soletanche Bachy JV for contract 1, and McConnell Dowell and Downer JV (Connectus) for contract 2.
At the completion of contracts 1 and 2 CRL tunnel will be complete from Britomart station to a point on Wyndham Street which is just before the first new station (Aotea Station).
Award is imminent for the remaining CRL construction package (Contract 3) which will complete the majority of the CRL tunnel plus the rail systems works, as well as development of two new stations (Aotea and Karangahape) and redeveloping the existing Mt Eden Station.
Other contracts involve Mt Eden contract for the construction of a new underground stormwater tunnel between Water and Nikau Streets to replace an existing adjacent pipe that will be in the way of the CRL tunnels, this is being delivered by March Bessac Joint Venture. Additional wider networks improvements will be in place to allow for the CRL build and operations.
Tickets are still available for #ConnectNZ. However, there are a limited number of spaces available on the City Rail Link site tour. If you want to attend the site tour, it is recommended that you buy tickets soon.