Engineering, Major Projects & Infrastructure, Operations & Maintenance, Passenger Rail

City Rail Link reaches new heights

One of City Rail Link’s heaviest single lifts has been completed successfully, with a huge bridge span hoisted into position over Auckland’s Western/North Auckland Line (NAL) at the project’s Mt Eden site.

It took a team of 70, supported by three titanic cranes, four hours to manoeuvre the steel span – 46 metres long and weighing 160 tonnes – into position.  The span is the ‘foundation’ for a new overbridge that will give people safe access seven metres above railway lines at Porters Avenue.

CRL’s Link Alliance Construction Manager NAL, Dale Burtenshaw, said a great deal of careful planning and teamwork had produced a great outcome for the project and for the people of Auckland.

The span was delivered on an 83-metre long truck that took six hours to transport its huge load from Ōtara in south Auckland to Mt Eden.

 The Western Line was closed to complete the lift safely.

Railings, stairs, lifts and push or rundle ramps will be installed on the span later this year to give walkers, cyclists and those with prams, mobility scooters and wheelchairs easy and safe access over the rail corridor.  The bridge will also carry public utility services across the line. A completed Porters Avenue overbridge is planned to open in late 2022.

The bridge will be shaped like a bow tie. Its architects, Jasmax, say the bow tie shape will minimise its overall size and maximise sun and light to surrounding properties without compromising safety for bridge users.  Designs on the bridge will reflect the importance to Māori of volcanic basalt from nearby Maungawhau/Mt Eden as a gardening and building tool.

When CRL is completed, the overbridge will span four railway lines instead of the existing one at present.   It will  support access to a redeveloped station at CRL’s Mt Eden site and to the extensive residential and commercial expansion planned around the station.

The original Porters Avenue level crossing was closed to vehicles and pedestrians in 2020.  Because of the additional lines, vehicles will continue to use alternative routes when the overbridge opens.

Porters Avenue is the first of four permanent bridges to be built over the rail corridor at CRL’s Mt Eden site.

The project will enable Auckland’s rail network to run more efficiently – there will be more trains and more seats,  and journeys will be easier and quicker – and the number of people within 30 minutes travel of the CBD – the country’s largest employment hub – will double.