Client: Auckland Transport

Contract: Design & Construct

Location: Papatoetoe, Auckland





Project Capabilities

Civil Rail Roads & Bridges

 Fast Facts

  • We designed a bespoke ‘rail protection deck’, a New Zealand first.
  • This enables the team to work over the live rail network 24/7
  • Mitigating the risk of 25,000 KV - 100 times more powerful than in the amount used to power the average home
  • The new station will extend the platform approximately 19m to the north and include a new lift from the concourse covered with a 90m canopy.
  • Two new bus stops off Puhinui Road will be built.
  • A separate circulation area for private vehicles to drop passengers off near the bus stops.
  • Along with10 ‘meet and greet’ (short term) parking bays
  • and four ‘kiss and ride’ bays adjacent to the new bus stops.
  • There will be two mobility bays and six operational parking spaces.
  • And an all-day parking zone for motorcycles and scooters.



McConnell Dowell  and Built Environs working together for the first time in New Zealand in joint venture (MCDBE), was awarded the early works contract for the Puhinui Interchange Project by Auckland Transport in May 2019.

The project includes demolishing part of the existing Puhinui Station footbridge and constructing a new multimodal interchange. Additionally, the station will incorporate an at-grade bus area, ‘kiss and ride’ parking, cycle facilities and landscaping. Along with modifications to the existing central island train platform, an elevated concourse that will feature stairs, lifts and escalators, a HOP ticket gate line, and staff and retail facilities will be constructed.

The challenge:

The project required an innovative approach to construction management, as work over the rail corridor couldn’t be confined to scheduled rail closures or Block of Lines (BOL).

A large portion of the early works occurred around the stations existing central platform. This presented the biggest safety challenge to the team since materials needed to be transported across the live rail network which carries 25,000 KV – which is 100 times more powerful than the electricity used in homes.

The solution:

The MCDBE in house temporary works team came up with the design for the ‘rail protection deck’ – a structure that creates a physical barrier between construction materials and plant operations, and the rail corridor and its electrified assets.

The rail protection deck allows the team to safely transport materials, using large plant machinery, from one side of the train tracks to other without having to shut down the train line. Ultimately, it allows work to continue during the day without any requirement for night or weekend which means less disruption for the local residents.

The key to success:

Throughout the design and construction phase, the team worked closely with KiwiRail and Auckland Transport to ensure the protection deck met all their requirements; such as design clearances, structural capacity and integrity. Since it was the first time such a structure had been proposed for use on a rail construction project in New Zealand, the deck needed to go through several design and safety reviews before all parties were satisfied it was a safe and effective risk management strategy.

Construction started in late 2019 and is scheduled for completion in early 2021


To view recent timelapse footage click here