New Zealand's largest-ever transport project is one step closer as the City Rail Link (CRL) reaches another important milestone in its procurement programme.
The Interim Project Alliance Agreement (IPAA) for the delivery of the project's underground rail systems (C7) has been awarded to a joint venture between RCR Tomlinson Limited and its design partners Opus International Consultants Limited – together known as the Systems Integration, Testing and Commissioning (SITC) Alliance.
City Rail Link Limited's CEO Sean Sweeney says this marks a major milestone for a project that will deliver significant benefits for Auckland.
"The joint venture brings with it a wealth of experience both here and overseas and once again shows the calibre of talent wanting to be part of delivering this important project that will transform the way people move and live in Auckland.
"The City Rail Link is the key that will unlock Auckland's public transport network and we are thrilled that today's announcement brings it one step closer to fruition," he says.
The C7 contract will deliver all of the underground rail systems for the entirety of the project including rail tracks, signalling, overhead lines, control systems and room fit-out, communications and building works.
Mr Sweeney says that reaching this milestone today reinforces that the project is on track to be delivered by 2024.
"Last month we issued the Request for Proposal for our main stations and tunnels contract (C3), today we have awarded the IPAA for our underground rail systems contract (C7) and we are also now more than 90 per cent complete on the Albert Street trench excavation (C2).
"This project remains on schedule to be in place delivering many benefits for Auckland in 2024, and we want people to be excited that the major gamechanger in Auckland's public transport is well on its way," he says.
When it is in place, the CRL will provide the equivalent of 16 extra lanes of traffic into the city centre in the peak period.
The iconic Britomart Transport Centre will be transformed from a dead end one-way station into a two-way through station so more trains can get in and out of the city.
It includes 3.45kms of new dedicated underground railway that will connect with other rail lines to benefit the Auckland's entire rail network.
Significant urban development outcomes will also be delivered with two new stations near Aotea Square and Karangahape Road as well as redeveloped stations Mt Eden and Britomart.
Mr Sweeney says the CRL will provide Auckland with the modern underground rail system that people expect of the world's best cities.
"This project is a one of a kind for Auckland and it will provide the kind of frequency and reliability that will encourage people to leave their cars at home, easing the pressure on the roads for those who need to use them," he says.
The joint venture will now work with CRL, Auckland Transport and KiwiRail to develop an Alliance proposal and if it is successful it will then enter in a Project Alliance Agreement with CRL. The Project Alliance Agreement is expected to be awarded by May 2019.