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October 2018 Newsletter

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Latest CRL Connection Newsletter October 2018
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Milestone reached in Albert St construction
The reinstatement of Albert St is one step closer as the City Rail Link (CRL) reaches another significant delivery milestone.
This week, contractor Connectus Joint Venture started backfilling CRL’s Albert St trench.
The milestone marks the start of the last stage of the Albert St works before the road can be reinstated and returned to road users and pedestrians – expected late 2020.
Backfilling of the trench up to road level will take until mid-2019 to complete and it will take a total of 50,000m3 of materials to fill it - the equivalent of 20 Olympic-size swimming pools.
People using Albert Street will see an excavator sitting on the construction deck moving materials down onto the roof. The project team will then use small diggers to spread the backfill within it.
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Green light for CRL tunnel excavation at Britomart
When Britomart’s Chief Post Office (CPO) building was opened in 1912, no-one would have imagined that one day the stately building would be put on temporary foundations so that train tunnels could be built underneath.
CRL contractor Downer NZ Soletanche Bachy Joint Venture has been gradually transferring the weight of the 106-year-old Category 1-listed heritage building onto a series of underpinning frames, to protect it from movement while CRL infrastructure is built underneath.
The last remaining section of the building, the eastern façade, has now been load transferred onto the temporary foundations.
CRL tunnel excavation under the CPO and into Britomart Station can now proceed at full steam.
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Customs/Albert intersection excavation reaches halfway mark
Excavations have reached the halfway mark under the busy Customs/Albert St intersection in preparation for building a key section of CRL tunnel box.
It is at this point that the CRL twin underground tunnels being built under Albert St will connect with those that have been built under the adjacent Commercial Bay development site.
Thanks to the concrete bridge structure built across the intersection last year, traffic can still flow above ground while CRL construction works are carried out underneath.
Albert St excavation 91% complete
Behind the CRL hoardings on Albert St, contractor Connectus Joint Venture is in the last stages of trench excavation.
When excavation is completed in mid-November, a total 77,000m3 of spoil will have been removed from the trench – a volume equivalent to almost 31,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Meanwhile, more than half of CRL tunnel box construction has been completed under Albert St, including 240 metres of floor, 192 metres of wall and 108 metres of roof.
The 350-metre-long tunnel box is being constructed in 29 sections, from the southern (Wyndham St) end to the Customs St intersection. The total length of tunnel box along this section of Albert St is 350 metres and each tunnel.
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Pile wall breakthrough to begin later this year
Prior to Christmas, CRL is expecting to start work to remove the western secant pile wall that separates CRL’s Lower Queen St construction site from the CRL rail tunnels built under the neighbouring Commercial Bay development site.
Bulk excavation works will continue in both the northern and southern trenches under Britomart’s CPO building until late November. Large steel struts will be installed this month to ensure stability of the trench walls while excavation continues to the 13-metre depth required before CRL tunnel box construction can begin.
CRL excavations turn up more exciting archaeological finds
More interesting archaeological items from the mid-1800s have been recovered during excavation works beneath Britomart’s Chief Post Office (CPO) building.
Workers excavating in CRL’s southern tunnel alignment uncovered a small cache of broken black beer bottle bases within one of the building’s original concrete piles. A stoneware bottle, pickle bottle and whisky bottle were also found in reclamation fill during excavation works for the northern CRL tunnel.
Workers Raj and Noel (pictured) were excited to uncover a complete stoneware mineral water bottle, produced in the west German Duchy of Nassau, famous for its mineral springs. It was discovered in reclamation fill, about five metres under modern ground level.
Meanwhile, excavation works within Lower Queen St uncovered remnant piles and basalt blocks from the original Queen St wharf, dating back to the 1850s. Multiple wharf piles, some of which had survived in-situ, were found at one to four metres below modern ground surface. Some of the piles showed a tapered point that retained the scallop marks produced by shaping with an axe
Trench excavation reveals 110-year-old piles
Within the CRL trenches under Britomart’s historic CPO building, a number of 109-year-old piles have been uncovered.
The piles were etched with the date 8/10/1909
Etched with the date 8/10/1909, these piles are part of the original foundations that held the weight of the CPO but must be removed to enable the CRL rail tunnels to be constructed.
To ensure the CPO building is protected and remains stable during CRL tunnel excavation and construction, 3,380 tonnes of building weight was successfully transferred onto new concrete diaphragm walls through 350 tonnes of steel underpinning beams, with movement limited to only about 1mm!
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Pipes for stormwater diversion arrive this month
More than 200 concrete stormwater pipes are due to arrive at CRL’s Mt Eden construction site this month.
Each measuring two metres long by two metres diameter, the new pipes will be laid across a 420-metre distance between Water St and Nikau St to replace the existing stormwater main, which is in the way of the future CRL tunnels at Mt Eden.
CRL’s mini tunnel boring machine, Jeffie, will install the new stormwater main using a technique called ‘pipe-jacking’. Excavation of the 15 to 17 metre shafts for launching and receiving Jeffie will start shortly.
Last week, a blasting technique was used to fracture basalt rock located underground at the Nikau St site to clear the way for shaft excavation. The short underground blast was considered a much less disruptive way of dealing with the basalt than many weeks of noisy hydraulic rock breaking to get the same result.
Check out the latest project information online
Watch the latest CRL timelapse videos of the Albert Street trench excavation and tunnel box construction and Lower Queen Street, Britomart’s Chief Post Office building and Commercial Bay.
See more
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