City Rail Link Limited (CRLL) are presenting to the Council’s Finance and Performance Committee tomorrow. Their presentation contains a number of updates on the project. First of all there are some important project wide comments.
CRLL is owned by both the government and the council who act as sponsors. They say there is a “Project Delivery Agreement (PDA) between CRL and sponsors on what and how we deliver is in line with cost and programme”. As part of this they note it:
- Includes a Target Delivery Cost* of $3.37bn (P50); and
- Target Delivery Date* of March 2024 (will be confirmed once contracts are let)
This is the first time I can recall seeing a delivery date of 2024 and if true suggests the project timeline has slipped which is hugely disappointing. I note the CRLL website states completion in 2023 so I hope the Councillors ask some serious questions of CRLL about this.
I also hope they ask some questions about the cost of the project and how it managed to go up so much. Especially so given they kept that news a secret even from the mayor at the time. With the cost, potential time frame blowout as well as the well documented issues about the Karangahape Rd entrance and future proofing for longer trains, I can’t help but wonder if new management is needed in the project.
There is some potentially good news about future proofing though. A bullet point at the end of the presentation, in a section called Look Ahead, simply states “Future proofing for longer trains”. If they’ve changed their mind on this then that’s really positive, now to get them to get that Beresford Square entrance built.
Moving up there are a number of updates about the various works underway (or soon to be).
It appears everything is on track with the presentation listing these bullet points.
- About halfway through the 15-20 metre deep diaphragm wall construction to form the twin tunnels
- Early 2018, underpin the CPO with steel beams across the walls and transfer weight of CPO onto structure
- Walls become part of the permanent structure
- Eventual streetscape at 50% design stage
- Contract progressing to programme with no significant inground obstruction encountered
The Britomart works include the tunnel under Lower Queen St and the piling for that section is due to begin in mid-2018.
They say the tunnels through the site are making good progress to meet the time frames for the Britomart and Albert St works.
In update on Tuesday they said they’d reached 17m deep which means there is only 1m to go before they can start building the tunnels at the bottom of the trench. Presumably they’ll hit that milestone any day now. The presentation notes that they’re removing around 300m³ of spoil daily and also says:
Excavation was challenging during wet weather and in sticky clay layers. Contractor making good progress in firm soils.
They still haven’t even shortlisted tenderers for the main works yet but say advanced works to remove canopies and relocate services will begin in January. They also say the station box will start construction during 2018 at the southern end of Albert St. Included in the presentation is this new image of the station entrance at Aotea. This is looking west towards Mayoral Dr.
There is this new image of the station entrance showing a large feature wall. One thing that does concern me from a practicality point of view is that there’s only one escalator, presumably only operating in the peak directions. This seems a poor outcome given this station is basically a blank canvas and not very space constrained.