CRL Construction Ready To Go Again Afer COVID Lockdown
City Rail Link expects a rapid and successful return to work at CRL construction sites on Wednesday with strict health and safety protocols operating in line with the Government’s Covid-19 Alert Level 3 announcement.
All sites at New Zealand’s largest transport infrastructure project – Mt Eden, Karangahape, Aotea in the central city and Britomart – are re-opening after Auckland’s five-week-long lockdown under Alert Level 4.
“We’re an important part of the New Zealand economy with our big workforce and our big spend locally on construction materials so we’re keen to get cracking again. That’s good news for Auckland and good news for New Zealand,” says Dr Sean Sweeney, Chief Executive for City Rail Link Ltd.
Enhanced health and safety protocols developed by the wider construction industry and endorsed by Worksafe New Zealand will be operating. They include physical distancing, health monitoring, enhanced cleaning, segregation between different work crews and wearing personal protective equipment including masks.
“Our restart’s immediate priority will be the welfare of our workers and the communities around us. Those protocols worked very well for us before, and they will again help with a safe, successful and quick restart for us,” Dr Sweeney says
A karakia led by Auckland Iwi kaumātua will be held at dawn at the Aotea site to bless the resumption of work. Around 750 workers will be back on CRL sites immediately under Level 3 with a gradual return to around 850 working under normal conditions. Office-based support teams will continue to work from home during Level 3.
Dr Sweeney says CRL spent Level 4 preparing for a quick restart under Level 3. Around 100 workers remained on-site during the lockdown providing security, maintaining plant and other equipment, and operating the project’s tunnel boring machine well below full capacity levels to prevent earth from settling around it. Backroom teams, including designers, planners and office support teams, worked from home.
“We’ve made the most of the lockdown to be ready for Wednesday – I think we’re in pretty good shape for our teams to make a successful and quick resumption of work. Nevertheless, covid continues to cast its long shadow and there are challenges and uncertainties ahead.”
Dr Sweeney acknowledges that the current lockdown and a stricter health and safety regime on construction sites will affect the project.
“Current covid-related impacts, and those before, are of a scale and uncertainty we could not have reasonably predicted a couple of years ago. They are exceptionally hard to rigorously quantify and will not be able to be fully determined for some time yet. But it is highly likely there will be significant consequences for the project,” Dr Sweeney says.
Monday 20 September 2021 – Media Release
Read the Media Release here.
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