Here are the big milestones in 2017:
Concrete poured for tunnel box
08 December 2017
The first concrete has been poured for the CRL tunnel box in Albert Street.
Work started on December 21st 2015. It's taken the workers approximately 501,000 hours to get to this point.
So far, 30,000 cubic metres of soil and rock have been removed and filled up a double trailer-truck 1,866 times.
It’s also required about 8km of utility piping to be moved or suspended above the trench, and the main stormwater line two metres in diameter to be broken out and re-bored approximately ten metres sideways to the east. This is the reason a new 516 metre stormwater pipe was installed from Wellesley to Swanson Streets.
This first concrete pour was in the section beside the Auckland District Court and the Wyndham Street viewing platform at a depth of 18 metres.
The pour took almost 30 cubic metres of concrete pumped through about 56 metres of concrete hose all the way down to the base of the excavation. The job took around four hours from start to finish.
This first concrete pour is the “blinding layer” to form a flat and smooth layer for the next layer above it, which is the waterproofing membrane.
18-metre depth reached in Albert Street trench
29 November 2017
The Albert Street trench has reached its full 18-metre depth near Wyndham Street.
Contractor Connectus is now removing the 100-year-old stormwater pipe at the base of the trench before it can start building the CRL tunnel box at the southern end of the trench.
The redundant stormwater pipe will be unearthed at shallower depths as the evacuation moves north.
At the Customs Street intersection, the pipe is at a depth of only eight metres. The old pipe and a pumping chamber must be removed as they are in the way of the future CRL rail tunnels.
The current depth of the remainder of the trench varies between 3.5 to six metres but will all be evacuated from between 18 and 13 metres from south to north.
Sandrine moved into the CPO/Britomart
4 September 2017
The 90-tonne compact piling rig Sandrine has been moved into the CPO building.
The machine is needed to dig the 15 to 20-metre-deep wall panels that will form the structural support for the CRL tunnels inside the building.
First concrete poured
23 July 2017
The first two concrete base slabs for the CRL twin-tunnels have been laid on Lower Queen Street.
The 700mm-thick concrete slabs are the first eight metres of CRL tunnel box floor to be poured out of the total 3.45km length of tunnel to be constructed.
Located under the Lower Queen Street walkway, adjacent to the Zurich building, these tunnel stubs will eventually connect to sections of tunnel from Britomart Station and Albert Street.
The slabs are protected by a high-tech water-proofing system to keep saltwater out, as they’re sitting about 13 metres below sea level.
In about a week, construction will start on the walls for this short section of tunnel. When a roof is eventually placed over the top in few month’s time, the result will be the first completed section of tunnel box for the project.
Bulk excavation work starts
17 July 2017
Bulk excavation work has started for the cut and cover rail tunnels under Albert Street.
The excavation involves digging 18 metres (about five storeys) at the deepest (southern) point, using long-reach excavators above ground and smaller machinery inside the reinforced trench.
This represents about 10% of the 3.45km length of the twin-tunnel underground rail link,
The tunnels will then be constructed with a cast concrete floor, walls and roof before the trench is backfilled.
CRL Limited takes effect
01 July 2017
The government and council have established the company City Rail Link Limited (CRLL) to undertake the delivery of the project and this took effect today.
Yesterday afternoon, outside the Britomart Transport Centre, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Transport Minister Simon Bridges signed the agreements with Auckland Mayor Phil Goff that establish City Rail Link Limited to assume responsibility for delivering the CRL, marking the next step in transforming Auckland’s public transport.
CRLL is a crown entity, listed under Schedule 4A of the Public Finance Act, jointly owned by the Crown and Auckland Council. The company has full governance, operational and financial responsibility for the CRL, with clear delivery targets and performance expectations.
Procurement responsibilities were transferred from Auckland Transport to CRLL.
The Crown and Auckland Council expect that the management, delivery and completion of the CRL will be an exemplar model for the efficient and effective provision of public infrastructure through central and local government collaboration.
Steven Joyce told the ceremony: “Today’s signing is the next milestone in this important addition to Auckland’s public transport system. Auckland’s population predicted to grow by more than 700,000 people over the next 30 years, the CRL will play an important role in getting people in and out of the city with ease."
“Once complete, the CRL will fundamentally change the way people get around central Auckland and demonstrates the Government’s is commitment to Auckland and its Public Transport systems."
“CRL is Auckland’s top new transport priority. It will double the capacity of the whole existing rail network and provide significant travel time savings for commuters,” Mr Bridges says.
“The Crown and Auckland Council have signed agreements transferring the project to CRLL, formalising their partnership to jointly fund and oversee it through to completion,” Mr Joyce says.
“Under the leadership of Sir Brian Roche as Chair, CRLL will drive delivery of this complex project.”
KiwiRail, the state-owned enterprise responsible for all rail operations, has a formal role in ensuring the CRL's interoperability with the wider rail network and the services, such as freight, that it provides.
AT and KiwiRail are engaged by CRLL to provide technical and operational support services.
It is governed by a board chairman and directors.
Auckland Council and the Government appointed Mr Brian Roche as the establishment chair of City Rail Link (CRL) Limited.
Mr Roche is the Group Chief Executive of New Zealand Post Group, a position he will step down from in April 2017. He also chairs Antarctica NZ, Hurricanes GP Ltd, Major Events Investment Panel, Tait New Zealand Ltd and Wellington Gateway Partnership.
Stormwater pipe replacement completed
21 July 2017
The replacement stormwater pipe along Albert Street has been completed so the shafts that received the tunnel boring machines are being sealed and backfilled.
This will allow the hoardings and construction sites to be removed from Swanson and Wellesley Streets.
The Swanson Street shaft has been completed and reinstated. The two shafts at Victoria Street will remain in place until October while strengthening of the Orakei Main Sewer is undertaken. This work is required before the start of construction on the future mid-town station.
First tranche of City Rail Link funding
25 May 2017
Budget 2017 provides $436 million of new capital for Auckland’s City Rail Link (CRL), as the first tranche of the Government’s investment in this critical transport project for Auckland, Transport Minister Simon Bridges says.
“The Government announced in 2016 that it would support accelerating the delivery of the CRL to help address Auckland’s transport needs by committing to fund half of the expected $2.8 billion to $3.4 billion cost,” Mr Bridges says.
“The CRL is a game-changer for central Auckland and this funding demonstrates the Government’s commitment to Auckland and its public transport systems."
“CRL is Auckland’s top new transport priority. It will double the capacity of the existing rail network and cut travel time for commuters."
“The CRL is already bringing economic benefits to Auckland and New Zealand creating hundreds of jobs during construction,” Mr Bridges says.
CRL wins Sustainability Project of the Year
3 May 2017
The CRL project won Sustainability Project of the Year at the EY New Zealand Procurement Excellence Awards.
Judges said the CRL, New Zealand’s largest and most complex infrastructure project, “has been designed to the highest sustainability standards, standards unprecedented in New Zealand, with the design being recognised as ‘leading’ by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australasia”.
Judges added: “The challenge to the team was to develop and embed these standards at the procurement stage across a project comprising eight different contracts. Taking learnings from the first contracting processes and expanding traditional notions of environmentally friendly outcomes to consider long-term social outcomes, we have no doubt that under the guidance of their procurement team with a focus on sustainability design, the CRL will be constructed and managed to the highest standards.”
The other finalists in the category were Air New Zealand and NZ Transport Agency.
Albert Street piling works completed
13 April 2017
The City Rail Link 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 contractor, 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.
The cut and cover methodology is being used in this part of the project due to the geology, shallow position of the tunnel and proximity of underground utilities. It involves the excavation of a deep trench between the rows of piles and construction of the tunnel structure (essentially a concrete box), after which the trench will be backfilled and the road reinstated. This work is due to be completed in late 2018.
Last week, the tunnel boring machine (TBM) simultaneously excavating and installing a new stormwater main 18 metres under Albert Street, finished its 500-metre journey between Swanson and Wellesley Streets.
An extra million on the trains in just three months
6 April 2017
Auckland’s rail network is adding a million passenger trips every three to four months. Auckland Transport says another milestone has been reached with 19 million passenger trips for the year, an annual increase of 19.4%.
A million more trips were added in just 117 days - and such growth at around that rate has occurred for the past two years. This time in 2015 AT had just celebrated 13 million trips.
For the 12 months to March 2017 Auckland public transport patronage totalled just under 87 million passenger boardings, an increase of 6.9% on the previous year.
Strong International Interest in City Rail Link Construction
5 April 2017
The City Rail Link has attracted strong International interest in delivering the CRL tunnels and stations contract for Auckland.
Ten companies from Europe, China, Australia and New Zealand have participated in the pre-qualification phase of the contract and eight have been approved to move to the next phase which is Expression of Interest. The two that were not approved are specialist service providers best placed to provide sub-consultancy services to the eventual contractor.
Expressions of interest for the tunnel and station work will be released shortly, then evaluated and in about October two will be shortlisted for the tender phase.
Sustainability rating awarded
22 March 2017
Auckland’s City Rail Link project has been recognised for a “world first” - embedding cultural values into its sustainability approach.
The CRL was last night awarded a “Leading” Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) Design rating by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA), the highest possible achievement in the IS scheme.
The rating is for the design and construction planning of Contract 1 – the work through and under Britomart Station and Lower Queen Street to the former Downtown Shopping Centre site. A Downer/Soletanche Bachy joint venture is the delivery partner for this contract. The designers are Aurecon, Mott MacDonald, Grimshaw, Jasmax and Arup.
This is only the second “Leading” rating awarded in New Zealand, the first also went to the CRL. It was for the design and construction planning (with Connectus) of Contract 2 – the Albert Street tunnels and a new stormwater main under Albert Street.
Largest City Rail Link tender process starts
2 February 2017
The largest component of the City Rail Link (CRL) project – the construction of the tunnels and new stations - took a major step forward today with the release of its first tender documents to the industry.
The project is picking up speed with Expressions of Interest sought only a fortnight ago for the design, procurement, installation and commissioning of all tunnel track work and rail systems between Britomart Station and the Western Line at Mt Eden.
There will be two new stations as part of the build of the underground rail line linking Britomart with the existing western line near Mt Eden. The new stations will be near Aotea Square with entrances at Wellesley and Victoria Streets and a station in Mercury Lane, just off Karangahape Road. The present Mount Eden train station will be extended and redeveloped.
Tender documents sent out today are for the tunnel and station works that involve:
Aotea Station: Cut and cover construction of a 15m-deep, 300m-long underground station and plant room box, including platforms, lifts and escalators to street level, plant rooms housing station and tunnel equipment, full station fit-out and entrances at either end at Victoria and Wellesley Streets
Karangahape Road Station: Mined construction of a 32m-deep underground station, including platform tubes and 150m-long platforms, lifts and inclined escalator to street level, plant rooms housing station and tunnel equipment within two shafts, full station fit-out, entrance at Mercury Lane and provision for a future entrance at Beresford Square
Tunnels: Twin-bored tunnel construction (circa 7m diameter) between the Mt Eden station and the southern end of Aotea Station
The provision of maintenance services for the new stations.
Expressions of Interest sought
19 January 2017
Expressions of Interest are being sought for the design, procurement, installation and commissioning of all tunnel track work and rail systems between Britomart Station and the Western Line at Mt Eden. The work involves the provisioning of track slab, track, overhead line, signalling, control systems, tunnel ventilation, fire strategy and communications system.
The successful contractor will be responsible for the integration of the systems with the existing operations at Britomart and Mt Eden and the new tunnels and stations being built for the CRL. The documents, the first to be released to build the project past its current Britomart and Albert street sites, have been prepared as a result of the agreement between the Government and Auckland Council to jointly fund the project.
The C7 systems package will be procured using an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) model followed by a Design and Construct contract.
Temporary entrance opened
17 January 2017
The Chief Post Office building (the Britomart Transport hub) was closed for strengthening works before work starts on the City Rail Link (CRL) tunnels. The temporary entrance will be in use for three years.