The first tangible signs of constructing the City Rail Link are beginning to be seen on Albert St with paint appearing to start marking out the location of underground services. It is expected that works to move services so that the tunnels themselves can be built will start in November.

CRL - Marking out underground services

Markings such as this have appeared at both the Albert/Swanson St and Albert/Victoria St intersections.

Actual work on the CRL tunnels won’t begin till around May next year. When that happens the level of disruption will really ramps up with roads closed or partially closed and bus routes changed. The old saying that you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette spring to mind. Below is a timetable of when works will happen from an AT presentation

CRL Draft Contract Start Dates

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  1. This is the type of work that makes “cut and cover” so expensive and why many cities such as Singapore have chosen to tunnel right under all these services.

    1. Well two of the original three bids proposed tunnel construction. These were10 million dollars more so were rejected in favour of mass traffic carnage . Go figure.

        1. Plus, TBMs are a massive upfront cost. So might drive cost of initial stages up quite a bit.

          Then there’s the fact that with the stations, the starting and turn-around pits and the Downtown basement works, there would be about 20m of “true” bored tunnel left along the section they are doing.

          1. Plus, the land up to Aotea station is mainly reclaimed land with the subsequent problems that causes.

          1. That might’ve worked nicely if the government had come to the party with funding, and if the design on the rest of the route was a bit further along…

          1. Unfortunately it isn’t only in the field of transportation that the best engineering solution is discarded in favour of whatever is cheapest.

    1. Still off topic………….I notice that the official announcement by NZTA not to proceed with the Basin flyover was made by Jenny Chetwynd, the acting chief executive. I know Dangerfield is retiring but surely he should front up and take the rap for a wastage of $12 million of taxpayer money and I think a few more heads should roll. The NZTA really have to do a lot better – a real shake-up is necessary. The management of NZTA are not giving NZers value for money and haven’t for some time.

    1. Provided it is a) reliable, b) frequent c) not overcrowded, d) affordable, e) not slow f) good coverage. You need at least 4 if not 5 of those things to get average people to use it in most circumstances.

      1. I hope they have learned from when they did the Queen St upgrade. During the disruption most of the traffic went away. When they reinstated the traffic capacity after the works most of it came back.

  2. Moving services is generally a large part of the cost of building tram lines too. Has anyone asked the question whether the moves have been planned to be tram-proof? As that should help the business case for building them.

  3. I think you will find that a tunnel at that depth will still have to have the massive concrete beams on top to protect the tunnel from what is happening above, so it might as well be a cut and cover job in the first place. And besides, Auckland contractors are getting pretty good it, with the Britomart station, Victoria Park tunnel and now the Kirkbride Road interchange, which means the machinery, and more importantly, the expertise is on hand.

  4. I’ve mentioned before that one of the reasons why previous proposals such as Robbie’s Rapid Rail failed was the sheer cost of relocating existing services for cut-and-cover, using the technology of the day. That included paper-insulated lead-covered cables for power and comms, earthenware pipes for the waters, cast iron pipes for gas. This has all changed with HDPE/XLPE power cables, PE pipes for water, drainage and gas, and fibre for comms. That’s not to say it isn’t still an expensive exercise, especially at the transition points, but it’s definitely quicker and easier.

    1. I don’t believe that Robbie ever intended to initiate Rapid Rail any more than Barry Curtis’s monorail from Manukau City to the airpot. Merely election election gimmicks.

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