Auckland Transport has announced the appointment of two construction joint ventures to commence the first phase of work on New Zealand’s City Rail Link (CRL), an underground rail line which will extend Auckland’s passenger rail system.
Project director Chris Meale revealed that Downer NZ and Soletanche Bachy JV and Connectus (McConnell Dowell and Hawkins JV) will deliver the first phase of design at a cost of about $3M (£1.5M).
The Downer-led joint venture has been chosen to progress the CRL work through and under Britomart Station and Queen Street to the Downtown Shopping Centre site. Construction is scheduled to start in early 2016.
The contract includes establishing temporary accommodation for Britomart Station’s ticketing and customer service operations; underpinning the historic former Chief Post Office building, to allow the construction of the rail tunnels beneath; reinstating Britomart Station; and upgrading urban space and surrounding roads.
The Connectus consortium will construct the cut and cover tunnels under and along Albert St from Customs St to Wyndham St. The work is likely to start in October 2015 with the relocation of a major storm water line in Albert Street between Swanson and Wellesley Streets.
“We are now definitely on the way to building a key missing link in our city’s public transport network. Once completed, the CRL will turn a one-way cul-de-sac rail system at Britomart into a two-way through system that will be able to carry 30,000 people an hour,” commented Meale.