Passenger Rail, Major Projects & Infrastructure, Operations & Maintenance, Signalling & Communications, Track & Civil Construction

City Rail Link costs jump by more than $1 billion

city rail link

New Zealand’s City Rail Link (CRL) Limited has increased the costs and deadlines of the transformative project aiming to build a double-track tunnel underneath Auckland.

CRL has submitted a formal funding request to its sponsors – the Crown and Auckland Council – reflecting revised costs and time required for completion as a result of the COVID pandemic, lockdowns and associated impacts.

The cost of the project is now estimated to be $5.493 billion, a $1.074b increase on the previous estimate of $4.419b, which was approved by the sponsors in May 2019.

Construction of the stations and supporting rail infrastructure is now expected to be completed by the Link Alliance a consortium of seven companies, including CRL – by November 2025.

Following the end of the construction program, CRL will hand over the completed infrastructure to KiwiRail and Auckland Transport, which will then carry out the additional work required to open the City Rail Link to its first passengers.

Chief executive Sean Sweeney said the extra funding and additional time for completion was primarily due to COVID impacts – time lost on-site and the knock-on effect on the supply chain, resourcing, materials, and labour costs.

“In Auckland we endured two level four lockdowns, a further 280 days of restricted working conditions (COVID traffic light system) and we lost 3.2 million hours through illness among staff, with 800-plus workers infected,” he said.

“The request for extra funding has not and will not delay continuing work on the project, which is progressing well.

“Together with our contractors Link Alliance, we have got through COVID and surmounted its impacts, and are now well advanced in our work to build New Zealand’s first underground metro rail network.”

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