Auckland Transport is preparing to start buying the dirt under about 200 properties for the CRL’s tunnels.
Auckland Transport is about to begin buying more than 200 subterranean central Auckland properties for the proposed $2.86 billion City Rail Link.
A spokeswoman said because New Zealand property law stipulated property ownership went all the way to the centre of the earth, purchases were necessary for the route to be secured and the project to go ahead. New Zealand law contrasts with that of some European countries where ownership extends only some metres below ground.
The spokeswoman said the lines would run under private properties and anywhere the tunnels would be dug below, purchases had to be made by Auckland Transport.
However, often only a portion of any one property might be needed. Valuers calculated the amount needed to secure these purchases, she said.
"Acquisitions will be based on the compensation provisions of the Public Works Act," says Auckland Transport. "Compensation based on before and after assessment. Compensation generally relates to degree to which the subterranean purchase impacts on surface use."
Owners' reasonable valuation and legal costs will be reimbursed.
The subterranean properties involve 88 negotiations on about 200 titles or pieces of land. The spokeswoman cited a driveway with multiple owners and single building situated over numerous titles.
By last month, Auckland Transport had bought 35 of the 73 surface properties, spending $6 million in one case on a surface property near Mt Eden prison. However, the spokeswoman said negotiations were ongoing for many of the other 38 properties needed. Auckland Transport plans to own all 73 surface properties by the end of next year and will issue notices of requirements under the Public Works Act if owners won't co-operate.
Towards the end of this year or at the start of next year, subterranean purchases will begin, she said.
"Surface property purchases are already well under way and underground property purchases are expected to begin at the end of 2014," the organisation says. "Auckland Transport will seek to buy property on a willing seller/willing buyer basis. If agreement cannot be reached within a reasonable time, Auckland Transport will seek to acquire the property compulsorily under the Public Works Act."
CRL will have three new underground stations at Aotea (11m depth), Karangahape Rd (33m) and Newton (42m). The tunnels will be constructed in a cut and cover method along Albert St and at Eden Tce. But the majority will be dug by a 7.5m diameter tunnel boring machine. About 1 million cubic metres of spoil will emerge from the project, Auckland Transport says, more than Waterview because of station excavations.
As for building damage, Auckland Transport is predicting minor effects.
"In Auckland, land rises and falls seasonally as groundwater levels vary - often seen as deep cracks in the lawn or doors that stick. The types of buildings encountered along the CRL route are many and varied. Preliminary assessments show a vast majority will have negligible damage, cosmetic in nature and non-structural. Monitoring will be used to confirm assessments of the likelihood of any damage. Settlement and monitoring will be key elements of the resource consent and construction process. Auckland Transport will repair any settlement damage caused by the CRL settlement," it says.
Vibration when the tunnels are built are forecast to be temporary and will vary. Vibrations will reduce with distance and the type of material being worked in and assessments indicate no risk of vibration-induced building damage. Auckland Transport says any effects are likely only to be aesthetic.
• Notice of requirement and property acquisition period.
• Project definition.
• Reference design.
• Tender and procurement.
2015-2021: Construction and commissioning.
• Cost $2.86b.
• 50% Government-funded.
• 30% alternative funding (being investigated by independent keepaucklandmoving.org.nz).
• 20% rate and development contribution from opening 2020-2021.
[Source: Auckland Transport]