The 450 tonne shield of Auckland’s City Rail Link 7.15m diameter Herrenknecht EPBM has been successfully positioned in front of the Mt Eden tunnel portal after a 500m long truck drive into place that took one-and-a half hours to complete.
The shield was moved from the western edge of the Mt Eden site along a specially built road by the truck towing a hydraulic trailer fitted with 15 axles and 250 wheels to safely carry the shield’s weight.
“Despite this morning’s grey skies and rain, everything went smoothly. It was a very big and delicate operation but many hours of planning and all our hard work on site has paid dividends for us,” says Francois Dudouit, Project Director for the Link Alliance.
“That’s only one part of the job. The next exciting phase is putting everything together. We’ll position the shield inside the first 50m of the CRL tunnel and connect the shield to the TBM’s “’factory’ – the 11 sections or gantries that provide the hydraulic, mechanical and electrical power the shield will need to excavate the tunnels, remove the excavated spoil, and install the precast concrete segments that will line the tunnels.”
When all the gantries are connected the TBM will undergo extensive commissioning tests and trials before to starts excavating the first of the twin 1.6km long CRL tunnels in late April.
The Link Alliance will operate the TBM to the new Karangahape Station and then on to the Aotea Station in the central city where it will join with the tunnels already built from the Britomart Station and under the lower end of Albert Street.
CRL’s total 3.45km of tunnels are planned to open in late 2024 and will transform Auckland’s rail network and the way people travel around the city.
The Link Alliance working on the $4.4bn project includes six New Zealand and international companies with a wealth of experience in delivering large-scale infrastructure projects similar to the City Rail Link project both in New Zealand and overseas.
Three of the companies in the Link Alliance focus on the design side of CRL and the other three with its construction.
Several of the companies already have some involvement with the CRL.
The Link Alliance comprises:
- City Rail Link Ltd (CRLL)
- Vinci Construction Grands Projets S.A.S
- Downer NZ Ltd
- Soletanche Bachy International NZ Limited
- WSP New Zealand Limited
- AECOM New Zealand Limited
- and Tonkin + Taylor Limited