Staff running New Zealand's largest rail project are themselves all on the move, shifting from various parts of Auckland to centralise operations in Newmarket.
Sean Sweeney, City Rail Link chief executive, said staff at his own Government/Auckland Council-owned entity and staff at the Link Alliance business were moving offices.
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• $4.4b City Rail Link milestone: tunnel contract sealed as officials sign up Link Alliance
• Watch: New video on $3.4b City Rail Link, works move up Albert St
Those two entities are in charge of delivering the giant project by 2024, having dug twin tunnels from Britomart to the end of Albert St, ready for next year's challenging underground tunnelling operations to begin from Mt Eden and go 42m below ground at the deepest point.
The 3.45km link is aiming to transform the downtown Britomart Transport Centre into a two-way through-station that better connects the Auckland rail network and allow the rail network to at least double rail capacity.
Sweeney said he hopes CRL might be able to leave the Lower Albert St/Customs St West corner AMP Building in the CBD for premises next to Heartland Bank in Teed St in December.
"We hope to move before Christmas but it might be slightly afterwards," Sweeney said of about 40 CRL staff who for some years have work from L17, overlooking the lower end of the project opposite Commercial Bay.
Link Alliance staff will move from two sites, Sweeney said.
Arrow International's registered offices were at 1 Broadway in Newmarket and Sweeney said some alliance staff were also there. Other link staff have been working from 600 Great South Rd into 100 Carlton Gore Rd, the former Tegal headquarters. Tegal has moved into the new Mercury Energy Building at 33 Broadway.
The Link Alliance is Vinci Construction Grands Projets S.A.S, Downer NZ, Soletanche Bachy International NZ, WSP Opus (NZ), AECOM New Zealand and Tonkin + Taylor. This entity is delivering the stations and tunnels for the project.
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After years of suffering, Albert St business owners might have a reason for relief soon. The lower end is undergoing the first stages of people-friendly improvements as part of the CRL project.
Work has started laying the first of several thousand basalt pavers for a wider footpath along the street.
The first section of new pavement is being built on the St Patrick's Cathedral side of Wyndham St West and along the western side of Albert St as far as Swanson St. Construction of the new pavement is planned for completion before Christmas.
Auckland's historic Chief Post Office went up, then down with the intricate job of transferring the heritage-listed building from temporary support on to new permanent foundations above the two CRL tunnels built through its basement.
"It's a very short journey – 3mm at most – but it's one of the most demanding engineering jobs undertaken in New Zealand and one rarely done overseas," Scott Elwarth, CRL delivery head.
He said those 3mm were the most the 107-year-old, 14,000-tonne building is allowed to move as its weight settles on new foundations.