Green light for country’s busiest railway station
First steps were taken today to construct what will be New Zealand’s busiest railway station – City Rail Link’s Aotea underground station in central Auckland.
Transport Minister, Phil Twyford, and Auckland’s Mayor, Phil Goff, donned hard hats and protective jackets to oversee a ceremonial start to work that clears the way for the first of the station’s walls.
They switched on a 90-tonne ground cutting machine known as a hydrofraise that will make first cuts in the ground for the walls.
Mr Twyford says the event marks a further big step forward for CRL.
“CRL is a huge project helping to provide much needed stimulus to the economy and guaranteed jobs.
“Initiatives like extending working hours has allowed the project to quickly ramp up construction momentum after the Covid-19 lockdown and allows us to celebrate today’s milestone for a project that will deliver so much now and in the future,” Mr Twyford says.
The first walls for the Aotea station are being built outside the Auckland Council’s offices at the Wellesley Street/Albert Street/Mayoral Drive intersection. Mayor Goff says the station will transform the city centre.
“Aotea’s innovative design, which tells the unique stories of Tāmaki Makaurau, has already won international recognition and will be a striking addition to central Auckland,” Mr Goff says.
“When it opens, CRL will double the number of people able to travel into and through the city centre, carrying up to 54,000 people an hour during peak times. The project will create a better Auckland, reducing traffic congestion and transforming our city centre into a vibrant place to spend time in.”
Aotea Station will be 15 metres deep and 300 metres long.
Preparations are being finalised for the start of wall construction next week when the twin rotating blades on the hydrofraise will cut narrow trenches into the ground. The trenches will eventually be filled with concrete for diaphragm or D walls that will support the station. Most of the station’s foundation walls will be D walls – in total, 152 panels will be installed up to 21 metres deep
Aotea’s walls and roof are being constructed first and dirt will then be removed for the station platforms and concourse. Working top-down will reduce the impact of construction at street level.
The Wellesley Street intersection closed earlier this year so that utilities could be moved before station construction started.
Aotea’s hydrofraise is a CRL “veteran” and was used earlier on the CRL project inside and outside the Chief Post Office heritage building at Britomart in Lower Queen Street. The machine is named Sandrine in honour of a woman who has worked for a CRL contractor.
Aotea will connect with tunnels to the Britomart and Karangahape Stations, and then link up to Mt Eden Station and Auckland’s wider rail network.
CRL will double the city’s rail capacity. It will carry 54,000 people an hour during peak times, reduce rail journey times and will double the number of Aucklanders living within 30 minutes of central Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest employment hub. When CRL opens, Aotea is expected to be New Zealand’s busiest railway station with trains running up to every 10 minutes.
Aotea is being built by the Link Alliance as part of the project’s main stations and tunnels contract for City Rail Link Ltd.
People can stay up to date with the City Rail Link project at: https://www.cityraillink.co.nz
Ngā mihi | warm regards
City Rail Link Ltd | Level 2, 25 Teed Street, Newmarket, Auckland 1023
PO Box 9681, Newmarket, Auckland 1149, New Zealand
M +64 27 275 6868 | E ewart.barnsley@cityraillink.,govt.nz