NEW ZEALAND: Auckland Mayor Phil Goff ceremonially launched the start of underground works for the City Rail Link’s Aotea station on April 16.

The future station will be 15 m below ground, with 300 m long platforms. It is being build by CRL contractor the Link Alliance using a top-down method, where the roof is built first and the station cavern then excavated beneath it.

The NS$4·42bn CRL project involves the construction of a 3·45 km twin-tunnel line up to 42 m below the city centre, linking the existing the Britomart terminus to the western line at Mount Eden, creating a loop around the city. The scheme will improve travel options and shorten journey times, doubling the number of people within a 30 min travel time of the CBD. Completion of the line is scheduled late 2024.

‘The start of work underground on Aotea station is a significant milestone for the City Rail Link and for Auckland’, said Goff. ‘Aotea station is expected to become New Zealand’s busiest station after it opens and the CRL itself will be a game-changer for the city, doubling rail capacity and ultimately moving 54 000 people at peak hours, the equivalent capacity of three Auckland Harbour Bridges or 16 extra traffic lanes.’