COVID-19 brings Auckland’s City Rail Link Project to a Halt

Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed progress on the City Rail Link project in Auckland, New Zealand.

When completed, the project will connect the North Auckland (Western Line) at Mount Eden with the Britomart Transport Centre in downtown Auckland.

The project calls for a pair of roughly 2.1-mile-long tunnels running at up to about 138 feet below the city. Officials say the project, once completed, will enable the Auckland rail network to double its capacity.

“Our immediate priority is ensuring the safety of our people and the security of our sites,” City Rail Link Chief Executive Sean Sweeney said in a news release. “We will ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to keep each site and the surrounding areas safe.”

“We are doing everything we can to ensure that we are well placed to come out of the blocks very fast when the restart call is given,” Sweeney added.

The project was to be completed by 2024. It is estimated to cost roughly $2.65 billion (NZD 4.4 billion).

With the completion of the project, Auckland Transport will open a pair of new stations — Aotea and Karangahape. The project will convert the Britomart Transport Centre, which is currently a terminus, into a through-station.

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