The 2-year task of reinstating Albert St began last week while, over at Britomart, excavation for the city rail link tunnel can now proceed at full speed.
Image above: Work underway on the tunnel at the intersection of Albert & Customs St West.
The first is an obvious milestone in the development of the rail tunnel under Auckland’s downtown business area because, for most of the time the project has been underway, pedestrians have been able to peer down.
Britomart is far more complicated, requiring the railway station building – the city’s former chief post office – to be jacked up to enable excavation for the tunnel that will cross under Lower Queen St, under the Commercial Bay tower under construction on the former Downtown shopping centre site, around under Albert St & up to Karangahape Rd and on to Mt Eden station.
- Albert St reinstatement starts
- Excavation under the Albert/Customs St intersection paves the way for construction of the tunnel box sections that will eventually link the Albert St trench to the rail tunnels being built under the neighbouring Commercial Bay development
- The Britomart load transfer is complete and tunnel excavation can proceed.
City Rail Link chief executive Sean Sweeney said backfilling of the trench which runs directly beneath Albert St will eventuate in the roadway being reinstated & returned to road users by late 2020.
Backfilling with 50,000m³ of materials – a mixture of crushed concrete, crushed rock, sand & flowable fill – will take until mid-2019 to complete.
The work is being completed by Connectus – the McConnell Dowell Constructors Ltd & Downer EDI Ltd joint venture delivering the city rail link C2 contract.
Under the Customs/Albert St intersection, excavations have reached the halfway mark in preparation for building a key section of rail link tunnel box.
The twin underground tunnels being built under Albert St will connect at that point with those that have been built under the adjacent Commercial Bay development site.
Excavation is also continuing with the installation of supports for the trench walls and the removal of an old stormwater pump chamber. Construction of the tunnel structure under the intersection is expected to start this year, with a full connection being made to Commercial Bay by mid-2019.
On the C1 contract in Queen St, Downer & Soletanche Bachy JV completed the weight transfer of the 106-year-old category 1-listed ex-post office heritage building onto a series of underpinning frames, which will protect it from damage while rail link infrastructure is built underneath.
The City Rail Link website is full of images & more detail on the project.
2 time-lapse videos on the link’s website show a 6-month sequence of the city rail link tunnel box being built underneath Albert St. One camera faces south, and the other faces northern Albert St (downhill).
Attribution: Company release.