City Rail Link (CRL) has started excavating the 14m trench that will contain the project’s twin rail tunnels under Britomart Station and Lower Queen Street in downtown Auckland.
Contractor Downer-Soletanche Bachy JV (DSBJV) will remove a 5m layer of ground, and a 25m wide trench will be excavated with two 10m wide trenches.
DBSJV is also completing the weight transfer of the 106-year-old Category 1-listed heritage building onto a series of underpinning frames, which will protect it from damage while CRL infrastructure is built underneath.
CRL tunnel box construction is expected to start at the end of this year, once the trench excavation reaches the required 14m depth, and be finished in mid-2019. After this time, the trench will be backfilled
City Rail Link CEO Sean Sweeney said: “The start of trench excavation on Lower Queen Street marks a significant point in the construction process. It takes us a step closer to building the CRL rail tunnels at Britomart Station and connecting them with the tunnels being built within the Commercial Bay development.”
CRL is the largest infrastructure project ever to be undertaken in New Zealand. The 3.45km double-track underground rail line will run from Britomart Station, through Auckland’s central business district via new stations at Albert Street and Karangahape Road and connect with the existing Western Line at a redeveloped Mt Eden Station.
Jointly funded by the Government and Auckland Council, the CRL is on track to be completed in 2024.