13 February 2020
New Zealanders’ role in big day for Auckland’s CRL project
Transforming Auckland’s public transport has taken a big step forward with three significant developments today for the City Rail Link project.
A symbolic ground-breaking ceremony clears the way to start building the project’s southern tunnel portal at Mt Eden, a deal has been struck to supply the big Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) to excavate the tunnels, and New Zealanders are being invited to choose that TBM’s name.
Transport Minister Phil Twyford says tunnelling from Mt Eden into central Auckland is a big and exciting next step for the CRL project.
“Not only will CRL boost Auckland’s transport system, it will stimulate urban regeneration with jobs and affordable housing around Mt Eden station and elsewhere along the city’s rail corridors – a completed CRL will double the number of the number of people within 30 minutes of central Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest employment hub,” Mr Twyford says.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says the CRL is New Zealand’s largest ever transport infrastructure project and today’s ceremony launches the most important stage of its construction.
“The CRL will be a gamechanger for Auckland, allowing 54,000 people an hour to travel into the city at peak times. It adds capacity equivalent to three Harbour Bridges or 16 extra traffic lanes into the city at peak. The TBM will be the star of the show, providing the mechanical muscle required to get the job done as quickly as possible,” Mr Goff says.
City Rail Link Ltd’s Chief Executive, Dr[i] Sean Sweeney, says all New Zealanders will have the chance to name the TBM after an outstanding New Zealand woman.
“Machines that work underground traditionally have a woman’s name and the naming competition will allow people a unique moment to be part of this monumental engineering feat,” says Dr.Sweeney.
Preparations to welcome the TBM and start the next stage of tunnel construction were formally launched by Mr Twyford, Mr Goff, Auckland Mana Whenua and officials from City Rail Link Ltd and the Link Alliance.
MT EDEN TUNNEL PORTAL
Spades in the ground at the sod-turning ceremony clears the way for work to start on driving 66 concrete piles between 38 metres and eight metres long into the ground to support the curved-shaped retaining wall 127 metres long and 25 metres high.
The portal will take 10 months to build. When completed, it will be the launching pad for the TBM and the two separate journeys it will make under Auckland from Mt Eden to the Aotea station in the central city.
A German company, Herrenknecht, will build the $13.5 million TBM. The machine will be built at the company’s factory in China and shipped to New Zealand in sections next spring where it will be reassembled in front of the portal. The TBM will start tunnelling in February 2021.
TBM NAMING COMPETITION
Tunnelling tradition dictates that a TBM cannot start work until it has a woman’s name to honour St Barbara, the patron saint of underground workers, as a sign of good luck for the project ahead.
The City Rail Link TBM will be named after a ground-breaking New Zealand woman identified by New Zealanders.
“The Tunnel Boring machine will help create huge changes for Auckland’s future and it deserves the name of an amazing woman who, equally, has had an enormous impact on our country,” Dr Sweeney says.
Anyone can submit a name to www.digcrl.co.nz. Submissions will close on Thursday, 5 March. The top three names will then be selected by a panel and New Zealanders will vote for the one they prefer for the TBM . Voting will be open between 12-26 March.
Dr Sweeney says all three announcements cap off what he calls “a breath-taking 12 months” after the collapse of a big CRL contractor.
“Far from a setback, that collapse was the catalyst for big and rapid change inside the project and we are now celebrating the benefit of those changes – a CRL team that includes the best expertise from New Zealand and overseas that’s ready to deliver the next big step of an outstanding project for Aucklanders.”
More information about the City Rail Link project is available at https://www.cityraillink.co.nz
Information about naming the TBM is available at www.digcrl.co.nz.
Ewart Barnsley – Media Manager
City Rail Link Project
Level 2, 25 Teed Street, Newmarket 1023
PO Box 9681, Newmarket 1149
Mobile: +64 27 2756868 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org