Sneak peek into $4.4 billion Auckland City Rail Link

updated By Regan Paranihi

Today 10,000 people got the chance to have a sneak-peek into Auckland’s first underground City Rail Link (CRL).

It is the largest transport infrastructure project constructed in New Zealand and the Minister for Transport, Phil Twyford, hopes this will help ease the traffic congestion issues that plague our largest city.

City Rail Link Ltd chief executive Dr Sean Sweeney says, "‘I think it will be a big step in the right direction. 16 lanes of traffic is the capacity we provide. It won’t solve it all but it’s a step in the right direction.”

Twyford says this is a $4.4 billion investment that will benefit the whole of Auckland as public transport use in the city continues to grow with a new record of 100 million public transport trips in 2019 alone.

The CRL will connect with North Auckland (Western Line) and South Auckland lines, with new underground stations in mid-town at Wellesley, Victoria Streets and Karangahape Road which will connect up to the Mount Eden Station.

Sweeney says, “They’ll start building three stations in those three locations. There's also a massive excavation happening at Mount Eden, we need that to launch the tunnel boring machine in about a year and a half.”

The 3.45km twin tunnel will be 42 metres below the city centre and aims to improve the journey times for twice as many Aucklanders.

The Transport Minister says the project is tracking well and will take another five years before it is fully operational.