Auckland Transport in New Zealand has awarded a contract to the McConnell Dowell-Built Environs joint venture (JV) to upgrade the Puhinui Rail Station Interchange.

The upgrade of the rail station forms part of the larger Southwest Gateway programme, in which the local authorities are working together to improve access between Auckland airport and the central business district.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said: “The impressive new station will mark out the South-Western gateway to the city.

“It provides a modern, safe and weather protected environment to allow people easily and conveniently to transition between road and rail services.

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“Together with the new interchanges we have recently opened at Otahuhu, Panmure and Manukau, this new station helps create a 21st-century public transport system for our city achieving convenient, regular and quick travel around the city.”

Under the contract, the McConnell Dowell-Built Environs JV will be associated with the design phase of the project.

The scope of the work includes demolishing the existing Puhinui Station footbridge and modernising the area with a new shelter, parking spaces, an elevated concourse with vertical transportation, as well as other ticket, staff and retail facilities.

Construction works are expected to begin later this year and are slated to be completed in 18 months.

Overall, the project is expected to cost NZ$60m ($39.23m) and will be co-funded by the federal government through NZ Transport Agency, with the remaining provided by the Auckland Council and the Regional Fuel Tax.

Recently, the cost of the under-construction Auckland City Rail Link, one of the largest transport infrastructure projects in New Zealand, was increased by $670m to $2.97bn.

City Rail Link (CRL), the company delivering the project, announced the revised cost.