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Auckland Transport

City Rail Link one year on

crl pitOne year on, Auckland’s City Rail Link (CRL) construction is on target and the city centre continues to grow.

Project director Chris Meale says the project and contractor teams have worked hard to liaise pro-actively with businesses and others affected by the work.

Chris Meale thanked Aucklanders for their patience in dealing with the massive construction work going on in the inner city, including the CRL work.

“While traffic delays in downtown Auckland are below predicted levels as people take more public transport and change their travel patterns, we appreciate that such work does cause inconvenience and frustrations.”

Image: Preparations for a tunnel which will hold a new stormwater pipe deep under Albert Street. Find out more.

Construction on the underground rail line linking Britomart and the city centre to the western line near Mt Eden began 12 months ago.

More than 90,000 people work in the city centre daily. Auckland Transport data over the past 12 months shows: 

  • More people are travelling into the city. The morning peak in September was 1.6 per cent higher than a year previously.
  • Fewer people are bringing in their car. In September 2015, 54 per cent of peak morning visitors were in a private car. This year the number has fallen to 49 per cent.
  • More Aucklanders are using public transport and cycling. Train patronage in October was 17.7 per cent higher than the previous October.
  • Mean peak traffic speeds in the city centre are the same or slightly higher than before CRL began. 

Chris Meale says impressive statistics are being achieved for New Zealand’s biggest infrastructure project. 

So far:

  • All contractors have completed a combined total of 273,000 hours of work. This equates to one person working 136 years
  • The Connectus Joint Venture (McConnell Dowell and Hawkins) is constructing the cut and cover tunnels under and along Albert St from Customs St to Wyndham St. CRL works from Britomart Station to Wyndham St are on schedule.  All four shafts required to move deep stormwater pipes in Albert Street have been excavated to the required depth. Tunnelling is underway and has advanced 60m from Victoria Street to Swanson Street with the contractor advancing four to six pipes a day. At this rate, the 300m drive to Swanson Street will be completed by Christmas.
  • The contract requires 360 piles to be constructed and 125 jet grout columns. So far 100 piles and 100 jet grout columns have been constructed. This is ahead of schedule despite being carried out in areas of the most unknown geotechnical condition.
  • Downer NZ and Soletanche Bachy Joint Venture who are building a temporary entrance from Commerce Street for the Britomart Transport Centre are on target to open the building by 16 January next year when the Queen Street entrances close.
  • AT contractors have achieved full environmental compliance at every audit. Two isolated incidents of uncontrolled run off were dealt with quickly.
  • One contractor has achieved a leading rating for sustainability which is above the target of excellent. A rating for the other contractor is pending.
  • There has been only one medical injury. 

“The successes to date are a credit to everyone involved and it means Auckland can soon look forward to the transformation the City Rail Link will bring.”

About the image

Working behind the CRL hoardings at the corners of Victoria and Wellesley Streets, workers are preparing the way for tunnelling equipment that will lay a new stormwater pipe below Albert Street, part of the necessary pre-rail tunnel work. It’s a long way down behind the hoardings and keeping people safe is a key focus of the job.

With shafts up to 18m deep, fresh air is pushed to the bottom and there is air quality detection at the intake to ensure that the shaft is not drawing in carbon monoxide and other gases which would harm the workers. There are also air quality detection devices at the bottom of the shafts to test air quality at the workface. 

Each worker is trained in working in confined spaces and working at height and they each carry equipment, which provides them 20 minutes air supply should an emergency arise. The workers have harnesses which they hook to the ladders and, should they slip, the system has automatic brakes so they don’t fall.

Find out more about the CRL project.