Tāmaki Makaurau's $4.4 billion City Rail Link (CRL) has passed a big milestone with the tunnel boring machine (TBM) Dame Whina Cooper breaking through into the Karangahape Station construction site after an 860-metre-long journey from Mt Eden Station.
Working at a depth of 32 metres below ground, CRL staff welcomed the TBM on Sunday as it breached a 100-millimetre-thick protective wall of concrete into the station cavern.
Auckland's recent five-week-long COVID lockdown delayed the TBM's planned September breakthrough but tunnelling was able to resume at full speed when lockdown restrictions eased and the TBM arrived ahead of its rescheduled November deadline.
The 130-metre-long TBM, which is now sitting inside the Karangahape Station, will now be pushed 223 metres to the northern end of the station where CRL staff will ready the TBM for the next stage of its journey to Aotea Station in Auckland's midtown.
The TBM is due at Aotea Station in early 2022 where it will connect with the tunnels already built from Britomart and under the lower end of Albert Street.
The TBM will then be disassembled and trucked back to the Mt Eden site for another journey back to Aotea Station.
You can track the TBM's journey here.