Crossing the diagonal between the Old Customhouse & Quay Tower at Auckland’s downtown Customs-Albert St intersection, pedestrians can’t miss the rising Commercial Bay office tower and the barricades for tunnel construction.
But the barricades hide the excitement of the excavation involving both projects, which started this week.
Image above: The start of excavation to join the Albert St tunnel to the tunnel under Commercial Bay.
City Rail Link Ltd, the council-Government company undertaking the rail project, said in its latest newsletter this work would pave the way for construction of the rail tunnel box section linking the Albert St trench with the tunnels being built under the Commercial Bay development.
“Thanks to the concrete bridge deck constructed over the intersection about a year ago, traffic flow will be unaffected by the excavation occurring underneath. The spoil will be removed from the site using excavators & conveyors.
“Contractors will also be removing an old brick stormwater tunnel located under the intersection and replacing it with a temporary stormwater line that diverts water away from the location of the future CRL tunnels. The temporary line will be permanently diverted at a later date to connect with the Swanson St line, created during the Albert St stormwater realignment works last year.”
The rail link company expects construction of the tunnel structure to start in this area later this year, and a full connection made between the 2 construction sites by autumn 2019.
Crossing at Albert St intersections gives you an idea of the increasing depth of the tunnelling. CRL said the 6th section of tunnel wall had been poured below Albert St, meaning the first 132m of floor & 72m of the wall are complete.
The CRL website provides text, photos & drone views of the tunnelling programme.
CRL’s new chief has Australian background in innovation
City Rail Link Ltd’s new chief executive, Sean Sweeney, a New Zealander who had been working in Australia, took up the position on Monday 2 July. His predecessor, Chris Meale, retired in March.
Dr Sweeney was educated at Wellington Polytechnic (NZCE), Auckland University (BE Honours), both in civil engineering, and Melbourne University (PhD in construction economics).
Since 2004, he’s been executive director at Major Projects Victoria, head of construction at major developer & builder Grocon Pty Ltd, managing director at Atelier Projects Pty Ltd – both companies which expound innovation – and chief executive at Ontoit Global Pty Ltd, a specialist in public-private partnerships.
Attribution: CRL newsletter.