No Dig Down Under  2022 (Left)
No Dig Down Under 2022 (Right)

Breakthrough at CRL’s Aotea Station

On 10 December, workers removed the final pieces of concrete wall 15 m beneath Auckland streets and began connecting the new Aotea Station to tunnels running from Britomart to the City Rail Link (CRL) project.

“The wall wasn’t all that thick – about 300 mm wide – but its removal marks a huge step forward for our work,” said CRL chief executive Dr Sean Sweeney. 

“While it’s still a busy construction site out of sight for most, a project to deliver far-reaching changes for Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is rapidly taking shape below them.”

The breakthrough under the intersection of Albert and Wyndham Streets joins the twin tunnels completed in early 2020. 

Project director for Link Alliance – CRL’s main contractor – Francois Dudouit said the wall removal took around two weeks. 

“It was careful work connecting two separate sections of the project, and, at the same time, doing that without disturbing roads, walkways, shops and offices just a few metres above us,” Dudouit said. 

Once the breakthrough was achieved, Dudouit placed the first steel reinforcing bar to link Aotea into the existing tunnel. 

With the tunnels and stations now joining, the CRL team can now fit out the tunnels and prepare them for the installation of rail tracks and systems. 

Meanwhile, foundation for the entire station at Aotea is planned for completion for the Christmas break. 

At the southern end of the station, final preparations are underway to welcome tunnel boring machine (TBM) Dame Whina Cooper as it nears the end of its journey that began in May from CRL’s Mt Eden site. 

This upcoming breakthrough will be the final link in the first of two tunnels running 3.45 km of link between Mt Eden and Britomart. 

The TBM will be returned to Mt Eden in sections and reassembled to excavate the second rail tunnel in 2022.

For more information visit the City Rail Link website. 

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