Two joint ventures chosen for Auckland rail contract

Auckland Transport has announced that two joint ventures will work on the US$2.3m first phase of the City Rail Link (CRL) in the city’s Downtown area. 

The Two joint venture contractors are Connectus (McConnell Dowell and Hawkins) and a team comprising Downer NZ and Soletanche Bachy. 

The Downer-led joint venture has been chosen to progress the CRL work through and under Britomart Station and Queen Street to the Downtown Shopping Centre site with construction likely to start in early 2016. 

The contract includes establishing temporary accommodation for Britomart Station’s ticketing and customer service operations and underpinning the historic former Chief Post Office to allow the construction of the rail tunnels beneath.

Chris Moloney, Downer’s new business manager, said: "We’re excited to have won a contract for what will be the most significant improvement to Auckland’s transport network since the opening of the harbour bridge." 

The Connectus Consortium will construct the cut and cover tunnels under and along Albert St from Customs Street to Wyndham Street. The work is likely to start in October with the relocation of a major storm water line in Albert Street between Swanson and Wellesley Streets.   

Roger McRae, managing director of McConnell Dowell said: "McConnell Dowell and Hawkins have a combined history of over 100 years in infrastructure construction in New Zealand. It’s enormously satisfying to be working together on a transport project that is helping to shape the future." 

"Auckland’s population is set to grow rapidly over the next 20 years, reaching close to two million with nearly four out of every 10 New Zealanders calling the city home." 

Auckland Transport’s Chris Meale said: "We are now definitely on the way to building a missing link in our city’s public transport network. Once completed, the CRL will turn a one-way cul-de-sac rail system at Britomart, into a two-way through system that will be able to carry 30,000 people an hour, providing an efficient and reliable transport choice for Aucklanders." 

Image: Artist’s interpretation of Auckland’s City Rail Link

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