The Government & Auckland Council signed their 50:50 agreement yesterday for funding of the city rail link, now costed at $2.8-3.4 billion.
The council has been running the project through council-owned Auckland Transport. Under the new agreement, it will be managed by a new jointly owned company, City Rail Link Ltd. Auckland Transport will continue to deliver technical & operational aspects.
The agreement allows the tendering process to begin for main works, distinct from the preparatory works being undertaken so far. Its main competition for contractors will be the bigger Sydney & Melbourne Metro projects.
As well as sharing the cost, the council & government (described as sponsors) will share development opportunities arising from the project.
The heads of agreement contains broader funding, governance & risk management arrangements and will be followed by a more detailed sponsors’ agreement. Under that agreement, Government money is expected to flow as early as 2017. The project is scheduled for completion by 2023-24.
The 3.4km double-track underground train line will run from Britomart station in downtown Auckland, around to Aotea Station on Albert St, up to another new station at Karangahape Rd and through to an upgraded Mt Eden Station.
By providing a through service, it will double the capacity of the metropolitan rail network.
In business cases in 2010-11, the construction cost was put at $2.4 billion. Auckland Transport, in its 2015 business case, estimated the cost in a range of $2-3 billion. After more detailed design work, Auckland Transport raised its estimate to $2.8-3.4 billion – still subject to changes.
Attribution: Council & ministerial releases.