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DART 9 Manukau Rail Link Station

01 Sep 2011

The first new rail route to be built in Auckland since the Eastern Line in 1930, the 1.8km Manukau Rail Link connects the Manukau central business district to the North Island main trunk line, as well as the rest of the Auckland rail network. At the heart of the development is a 300m long, 18m wide, up to 7m deep trench near Haymen Park, which will house two platforms and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority’s rail link station.

The wholly concrete station made significant use of secant pile technology, with over 600 piles, up to 1050mm in diameter, installed in the two parallel walls, with depths and diameters varying with the retained height. An important environmental attribute of this method of construction was that it required less earthwork disturbance around the structure compared to open-cut construction.

The project also illustrates how the properties of concrete can be varied to meet the demands of particular applications. For instance, a 40MPa 19mm aggregate mix with fly ash enabled a 100-year design life for the main structure and tension piles, while a 6MPa self-compacting concrete for the "soft" secant piles provided sufficient strength and water-tightness while allowing secant drilling to be carried out.

The precast concrete panels used extensively throughout the station were honed to a 5000+ grade reflective shine using Monarc technology. Besides the pleasing architectural finish, the intense colour contrast of the polished aggregate creates ‘visual noise' to deter tagging. In addition, the hard, smooth surface of the panels is non-abrasive to skin and clothing, and greatly simplifies the removal of graffiti should this ever occur.

In the Manukau rail link station, the sustainable attributes of concrete have combined with quality workmanship, excellence in planning, design and attention to detail, to provide a cost effective, low maintenance structure well suited to serve the community and accommodate the resurgence of rail patronage in Auckland for many years to come.

Mark Hedley of Downer New Zealand accepts the Excellence in Civil Concrete
Construction Award from CCANZ CEO Rob Gaimster