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Auckland Transport

Quay Street strengthening Quay Street strengthening

Auckland Transport (AT) is undertaking seismic strengthening below Quay Street between Princes Wharf and Marsden Wharf. This is the first step in revitalising Quay Street. 


Project status: Construction mid-2019 to early 2021
Project zone: Central 


Project overview

To protect Quay Street and the utility services that run beneath it, seismic strengthening of the 100-year-old seawall is needed between Princes Wharf and Marsden Wharf. Getting these foundations sorted will secure the area for the next 100 years.

The seawall forms the harbour edge of an historic land reclamation, which supports Quay Street and the services contained in the road corridor. The first sections of this reclamation were built between 1879 and 1886 along what is now Quay Street west of Britomart, and also east of Britomart, parallel to Beach Road. Subsequent sections were added after the turn of the 20th Century.

Without the Seawall, significant parts of downtown Auckland would be under water.

Downtown Infrastructure Programme Map
Caption: Map of Quay street strengthening site.

How the work will be done

Strengthening will be completed in four sections between Princes Wharf and Marsden Wharf.

Revised Seawall Strengthening Map.

  • Princes Wharf to Ferry Basin - Jet grout column (construction complete) All 153 jet grout columns are now in the ground between Princes Wharf and the Ferry Basin.
  • Queens Wharf to Marsden Wharf - Palisade piling (construction complete) All 104 palisade piles are now in the ground between Queens and Marsden Wharves.
  • Ferry Basin - Incline Anchors (construction mid-2019 to late 2020) 14 of 29  inclined anchors are now complete. Installation of rock armour continues with massive blocks of stone being placed on the seabed as an extra layer of protection to the new seawall.  We expect this section to be complete late 2020.
  • Ferry Building - Incline Anchors (construction late 2020 – early 2021) 21 sub-vertical incline anchors will be used for the Ferry Building. These will be installed to the west of the Ferry Building through the existing seawall.

A tailored approach – three different methodologies are being used:

The Quay Street strengthening process will employ three different methodologies in different sections of the Seawall, based on consideration of location, suitability of ground conditions, design requirements and level of disruption.

Palisade wall - A series of piles of varying lengths are inserted into predrilled holes and socketed into the bedrock to form an in-ground wall.

This approach offers the following benefits:

  • Minimal disturbance to the current seawall.
  • Minimises local disruption.
  • Minimises construction time and cost.

Palisade Wall BOTH diagrams web

Jet grouting - Grout is pumped into pre drilled holes to form columns from bottom to top. The columns are laid in an interlocking fashion to provide strength and stability. Jet grouting is used where there is a high concentration of utility services and the Palisade Wall option would compromise those services.

This approach offers the following benefits:

  • Minimise disruption to utility services.
  • Minimises local community disruption.

Jet Grouting BOTH diagrams web

Anchoring existing seawall - A series of incline anchors are drilled through the seawall into the bedrock. The seawall is also bolstered by installation of a series of reinforcing bars along the length of the anchored section. Further protection is provided by placing boulders at the base of the seawall to prevent scouring from the “backwash” of ferries and passenger ship traffic.

Anchoring provides the following benefits:

  • Causes less disruption to the operation of the ferry basin.
  • Allows a co-ordinated approach with other Downtown programme projects

Anchoring the seawall web


For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport