Pedestrian Container Tunnel

Project: City Rail Link / Commercial Bay tower

Location: Downtown Auckland waterfront

Executive summary

The City Rail Link is the largest infrastructure project ever to be undertaken in New Zealand. At a cost of more than $3 billion, the 3.45km twin-tunnel runs underground below the city centre to make Britomart Transport Centre a through-station to better connect the Auckland rail network. Next door to Britomart, the 39-level Commercial Bay office tower and retail precinct will transform Auckland’s downtown waterfront area.

Client

Fletcher Construction

The challenge

Before construction of the CRL and the Commercial Bay tower, Queen Elizabeth Square was a hub for bus, train and ferry commuters meaning it was the busiest pedestrian area in New Zealand. With extensive excavation and infrastructure work going on, Royal Wolf worked with Fletcher Construction to create an innovative, efficient and strong solution to ensure commuters and members of the public were provided with a safe passageway across the site.

The solution

A two-way container tunnel – made out of eight 20-foot hoarding containers – was constructed alongside the Commercial Bay construction site to create a walkway from Queen St to the ferry terminal. The containers, made from corten steel, provide overhead and side protection from construction work, and inside a sense of space is created by a series of cut outs on the inward facing side of each container.

The result

The link allowed efficient and easy access for commuters to key transport hubs, and for workers needing access to surrounding businesses. Importantly, the containers allowed work on one of the busiest construction sites in the country to continue with minimum – if any – disruption to the general public and surrounding businesses.

Photo credit for aerial shot: cityraillink.co.nz