Thirty empty buildings are being demolished near the Mt Eden railway station, as part of Auckland’s City Rail Link project.
Demolition works started this week to provide space for the construction of the southern portal for the City Rail Link’s twin tunnels. The cleared site will be used as a staging area for a Tunnel Boring Machine and other machinery.
The first phase of this demolition is due to be completed next March, and is being managed by the Link Alliance which is delivering the stations and tunnels of the City Rail Link.
Construction of a new Mt Eden Station will allow the existing tracks to be moved around to connect the Western Line with the tunnels.
From Mt Eden Station, the City Rail Link will run under the Newton ridge and central motorway junction before it reaches new underground stations at Karangahape Road and Mayoral Drive/Albert Street and the redeveloped Britomart Station in lower Queen Street. The project will be completed in 2024.
“Demolition is a significant and visible development for the project, clearing a site that will essentially be ‘base camp’ for the substantial programme of construction to complete New Zealand’s biggest infrastructure project,” said City Rail Link’s Chief Executive Dr Sean Sweeney.
“In many ways Monday will mark the end of the project’s beginning. When these buildings have gone, the way will be clear for us to get below ground, complete the tunnels, build two underground stations, redevelop Mt Eden Station and then handover a world class rail system an international city like Auckland deserves,” said Sweeney.
City Rail Link began buying the first of the buildings to be demolished back in 2012 and bought the last was in 2015. They are located in Flower, Nikau, Ruru, Shaddock and Ngahura Streets. Demolition will start in Shaddock Street.
Measures are in place to reduce the impacts of demolition, according to Dale Burtenshaw, the Deputy Alliance Project Director.
The demolition area has been isolated by hoardings or fencing and an independent specialist will monitor noise and vibration limits to make sure they remain inside approved limits. However, most of the buildings are low-rise with concrete block walls and either timber or steel framing which will help avoid any extensive vibration. A specialist company is helping remove asbestos found in some of the buildings.