The City Rail Link really seems to be moving forward at the moment. Physical construction on the first sections are no wel underway and progress on the main works from Wyndham to Mt Eden are at various stages of the tender process. Below are a couple of recent bits of news about the project. The CRL team are also holding a Q&A session on their facebook page at 1pm today if you’re interested.
Lower Queen St is about to become a construction zone
AT has done a good job of using temporary activation on Lower Queen St over the last almost 18 months since this part of the street was opened to people. The artificial grass has proved popular and shown that even in the middle of a construction zone, people are happy to sit and relax. But that’s about to come to an end as construction ramps up.
From May until 2019, the area in front of Britomart Train Station that has been an inner city lawn and public space for the past year will become a City Rail Link (CRL) construction zone.
Last year’s removal of buses in Lower Queen Street allowed the street to be taken back by the public and partnering with Activate Auckland, the CRL team installed artificial grass, surface paint and artwork to turn it into a popular space.
It has become a meeting point, a transit space, a transport thoroughfare and a surprise space with buskers, art installations, tour promoters, interactive community events, food stalls and the host to the memorable CRL construction launch ceremony.
Although the space is surrounded by construction zones, the transformation has proved to be popular with visitors and locals alike, especially over summer when deck chairs were used daily.
Now it will take on a new look as contractors prepare for the cut and cover works to build the CRL twin tunnels from the outer platforms at Britomart. In addition, the adjacent Commercial Bay development needs more space.
However it’ll still be a way for pedestrians to get from Quay to Customs and to Britomart Station. Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times as will vehicle access to nearby Tyler and Galway Streets.
Once construction is completed, this is a concept of what it’s meant to look like
AT have shortlisted companies for the first major tender.
There are a number of different tender processes going on at the moment and the first one has reached the point where companies have been shortlisted. AT have said before this tender has to happen first to help inform the other parts of project.
Three companies have been shortlisted to tender for linewide systems integration, testing and commissioning for the City Rail Link.
There were eight international expressions of interest for the work and three have been selected to move to the request for tender phase.
- John Holland NZ Ltd
- Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction Pty Ltd
- RCR (Infrastructure) NZ Ltd
CRL project director Chris Meale said it was great to see breadth of competition from credible companies showing interest in the contract seven (C7) work.
The three chosen will now have about three months to tender and following evaluation the successful company is likely to be appointed in the last quarter of this year. The first focus will be on design development for optimal value and efficiency.
The contract will be for the systems that include tracks, power systems, communications, controls, ventilation and signalling from Britomart, through the CRL and connecting to the western line at Mt Eden Station.
Earlier in the month they announced eight companies had passed the pre-qualification phase for the eventual contract to build the tunnels and stations themselves.
The Piling works on Albert St have been completed
With pilling complete, Albert St is going to start looking much more like a trench soon.
The City Rail Link (CRL) project has reached another milestone, with the last of 362 piles dug on Albert Street, between Customs Street and Wyndham Street.
‘Gomer’ – the nine-storey-high piling rig affectionately named after 1960s TV character Gomer Pyle – began piling in September last year. Each pile was drilled to a depth of 20 metres and filled with reinforced concrete, which will support the trench walls within which the CRL’s twin tunnels will be constructed.
Connectus, the project’s contrctor, is now forming the concrete capping beams which will be placed on top of the piles to tie them together. Steel I beams will then span the width of the trench to brace the piles. This marks the start of construction of the ‘cut and cover’ tunnels across Customs Street and up Albert Street to Wyndham Street.
CRL Project Director Chris Meale says building this major civil infrastructure project in a busy downtown location, hasn’t been without its challenges and impacts on the community, which AT is conscious of.
“It’s been a real feat of engineering completing the works in an environment filled with a large number of underground services – some of which date back more than 100 years and for which little to no records exist – all the while maintaining vehicle access around the site, albeit under restricted conditions.
“Moving now to the excavation stage is an exciting time for the project and takes us a step further in the construction of the CRL for Auckland.”
Earlier in the month, AT shared some interesting infographics about the number workers and hours that will be spent on the project. The first one shows how many hours will be spent on the project broken down by area.
And the next one shows how many people they think will be working on the project each quarter. Presumably this is only for the main works given there is nothing prior to 2018.