City rail link to become a reality

Two construction consortia have been awarded the contracts to start the first construction phase of the city rail link.

Building will start in the downtown area by two joint ventures – Downer NZ and Soletanche Bachy and Connectus, a joint venture between McConnell Dowell and Hawkins.

Auckland Transport project manager Chris Meale says the first phase will be the design costing about $3 million. The next phase will be a negotiated contract to build the city rail link. (See map below)

The Downer joint venture has been chosen to design the rail link work through and under Britomart Station and Queen St to Precinct Properties’ Downtown Shopping Centre site, with construction likely to start early next year.

Precinct Properties is remodelling the Downtown Shopping Centre and building a 36-storey $500 million office tower adding 37,000m² of office space to the city. The city rail link tunnels will be built as the same time as Precinct Properties starts work on its project.

The Downer contract includes establishing temporary accommodation for Britomart Station’s ticketing and customer service operations, underpinning the historic former Auckland chief post office building for the construction of the rail tunnels beneath it as well as reinstating Britomart Station and upgrading urban space and surrounding roads.

"This will be the most significant improvement to Auckland’s transport network since the opening of the Auckland Harbour Bridge," says Chris Moloney of Downer.

The Connectus consortium will construct the cut and cover tunnels under and along Albert St from Customs St to Wyndham St. The work is likely to start in October with the relocation of a major stormwater line in Albert St between Swanson and Wellesley Sts.

Auckland’s population is predicted to grow rapidly over the next 20 years, reaching close to two million with nearly four out of every 10 New Zealanders calling the city home.

Mr Meale Auckland Transport is now definitely on the way to building a missing link in the city’s public transport network.

Once completed, the city rail link will turn a one-way cul-de-sac rail system at Britomart, into a two-way through system that will be able to carry 30,000 people an hour.

Map of City Rail Link  (Click to zoom)

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