Valerie, the 2 m wide tunnel boring machine, being readied for its next journey between Victoria and Wellesley Streets
Valerie lines up
for her next throw
One of the impressive machines involved in the City Rail Link (CRL) construction has begun the next stage of an underground journey through downtown Auckland.
The 2 m wide tunnel boring machine (TBM) named Valerie – in honour of the strength of Olympian Valerie Adams – is simultaneously excavating and installing a new stormwater pipe under Albert Street in Auckland’s CBD.
Having completed the first 290 m of tunnelling and pipe jacking work between Victoria and Swanson Streets, the machine was refurbished in the shed at the corner of Victoria and Albert Streets in preparation for the next stage of its journey. It was then lowered down the shaft to begin the final 200 m stretch towards Wellesley Street.
Valerie is expected to arrive at Wellesley Street in April.
A new future for transport
The stormwater diversion is needed before the CRL cut-and-cover tunnel construction of twin tunnels can be delivered by Connectus, a McConnell Dowell and Hawkins joint venture.
A smaller TBM is also working under Victoria Street, diverting the Orakei sewer main and enabling the existing sewer to be strengthened under the future mid-town Aotea Station.
Construction of the CRL, which will link Britomart and the city centre to the Western Line near Mt Eden, began in December 2015. Project director Chris Meale says every milestone takes Auckland closer to a new future for transport.