The City Rail Link - a test for traffic management teams
The long-awaited City Rail Link (CRL) project is finally gaining momentum with enabling works underway on the first stages of Auckland's new, much needed underground rail system. The $2.4 billion CRL, which will run through the CBD from the waterfront to Mt Eden and connect with the Western rail line, is estimated to take five years to complete. During this time traffic will be kept flowing, and pedestrians and workers kept safe, with the assistance of CSP’s traffic management products - ArmorZone™ TL-2 Plastic Barrier and Variable Message Signs.
The overall CRL project has begun in two main sections of the city. The Britomart to Customs Street section will include establishing temporary accommodation for Britomart Station’s ticketing and customer service operations, strengthening of the historic former Chief Post Office building to allow the construction of the rail tunnels beneath, and reinstating Britomart Station.
Work in this area of the city will also include the remodeling of the Downtown Shopping Centre and construction of a $500 million, 36-storey office tower by Precinct Properties which will add 37,000m² of office space to the city.
Enabling works have also begun on the other side of Downtown where the Connectus Alliance will build cut-and-cover trenches along Albert Street. These trenches will eventually house part of the 3.4kms of twin tunnels that run from Albert St through to the Mt Eden station. There the CRL will connect with the existing Western rail line with connections east and west to make the rail network two-way.
“The main phase of the Albert Street work started in January,” says Kava Aloua, Traffic Management Manager for Connectus. “We have set up work zones in the middle of Albert Street by using CSP’s ArmorZone™ TL-2 Plastic Barrier which is a Test Level 2 plastic water filled temporary barrier and suitable for speed zones up to 70 kph.”
In these early stages the Connectus team is working on the relocation of services including the main sewer line, which will eventually run 30m below road level. “It has proven quite difficult at times because some of the lines and services are not where the plans say they are as they have been down for a very long time,” adds Kava. “So we need to be flexible and move the workzones to cater - which can be challenging when managing traffic flows. The team from CSP have been really great at getting barriers to me when I need them and, often, at very short notice.”
Under the requirements of the project five days notice must be given to the public for any pending road changes. “CSP has also been supplying their Variable Message Signs which we have situated at various locations to notify motorists of pending lane and road changes. Again they have been very helpful and flexible when plans have changed.”
|CSP has been supplying equipment to Kava and his traffic management team all through February and March. This month things will ramp up and, by the end of June, there should be about 700 ArmorZone™ TL-2 Plastic Barrier units in use - mainly at the Albert Street site.|
“It’s a busy time as we work through these initial stages and it’s good to know we can rely on CSP to get us what we need,” adds Kava.
Once complete, the CRL will transform 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 per hour.
To view a time lapse video of the initial stages, click here (1min)
To view a video of CRL’s construction process, click here (3mins)