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Sector : Local Authorities

Overview

The City Rail Link is one of Auckland Council and Auckland Transport’s highest priority transport infrastructure projects. It is a proposed 3.4 km underground passenger railway, running between the Britomart Station and the North Auckland railway lines. The link will remove the current bottleneck in the rail system at Britomart and, by providing new stations within the city centre, will open up the potential for significant increases in the use of rail in Auckland. Flow has been assisting Auckland Transport with the planning phase of this critical project.

Challenge

The work included construction methodologies that required some open trenching to be undertaken along sections of arterial roads in Auckland’s city centre, temporarily reducing their capacity for traffic and also affecting buses, pedestrians, cyclists and service vehicles.

Approach

Flow’s transport assessments of the City Rail Link considered both the long term (beneficial) effects of the project, and the short term (adverse) effects during construction.  The long term effects included identifying the ability to dedicate more space within the Auckland City centre streets for buses, walking and cycling, due to the greater ability for people to travel to/from and within the city centre by public transport.

The work also identified that the City Rail Link would enable some of the projects proposed by the City Centre Masterplan to be implemented.  These include turning Victoria Street into a “linear park” and Quay Street into a “boulevard” – with less space to be dedicated to general traffic.

The assessment of the short term (adverse) effects of the project during the construction phase identified that greater bus priority will be needed within the city centre streets, in order to allow accessibility to be maintained while works are proceeding.  The assessment also identified where essential local access for pedestrians and vehicles needed to be retained, next to temporary construction works.

Flow was involved in the evolution of the Project, submitting an Integrated Transport Assessment (ITA) in late 2012.

During 2013, Flow presented traffic and transport evidence to the Council Hearing into the Notices of Requirement. This Hearing focused on the proposed conditions, with the transport related conditions seeking to provide sufficient clarity around the permissible means, phasing and effects of construction, including monitoring of those effects.

Flow has continued to work on the project for Auckland Transport, , providing evidence to the Environment Court Hearings in 2015 and 2017, and working on various matters relating to specific locations along the route, such as at Britomart, Karangahape station and at the Mount Eden end of the project.

A video prepared by Auckland Transport on the benefits of the project is available here.