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Old piece of Auckland road construction will be saved

Published: 19 June 2018
The bluestone wall along the eastern side of Albert Street, between Wyndham Street and Victoria Street West.

A historic wall in the way of the City Rail Link (CRL) Albert Street tunnel construction will be painstakingly preserved.

It's the oldest piece of road construction in the central city that was made from local material. The bluestone wall is along the eastern side of Albert Street, between Wyndham Street and Victoria Street West. It was completed in 1880 following the widening of Durham Street.

It will be carefully deconstructed stone by stone and then reconstructed in exactly the same sequence but moved one metre to the east of where it is today.

Close monitoring is being carried out during the Albert Street construction to ensure there are no negative effects on the wall. It's a split level section of roadway. The slip road off Albert Street is up to 5m below the level of the main road alignment.

Men's public toilets are part of the wall at the Durham Street intersection and were constructed underneath the road in 1880 but have been modified over time. There is little remaining of the original fabric apart from some painted screens between cubicles.

The bluestone wall was built by contractor Daniel Fallon. In an obituary published in the Auckland Star on 28 September 1920, Daniel Fallon is described as someone "who had much to do with works in connection with the development of Auckland" and that "he built for the future."

Those works included reclamation works in the Waitematā Harbour, the area that is now Victoria Park and the construction of the railway from Mercer to Ngaruawahia and Ohaupo to Te Awamutu.

Find out more on the CRL website about the wall and the artefacts that are being found underground during the construction.

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