Regional transport authority, Centro, has named Balfour Beatty as the preferred bidder to build the Midland Metro extension through Birmingham’s city centre.
Says Centro chief executive Geoff Inskip, “This is a prestigious project in the heart of Birmingham and it demands a construction partner of exactly the pedigree and calibre of Balfour Beatty. We worked with Balfour Beatty last year when they built the Metro bridge for us over Great Charles Street. That was a clear demonstration of their proven track record in delivering projects on budget and on time.”
The extension will provide a fast link between Birmingham’s two major railway stations and deliver more than 3.5 million passengers a year right into the heart of the city’s shopping district. The new track is part of a wider £127 million project that includes a fleet of 20 new trams for the Midland Metro system, which runs between Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
Says Bill Gifford, regional managing director for Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering, “We are delighted to be working with Centro to help deliver this important scheme for the city. We have built an excellent relationship with Centro which will continue and help ensure the successful delivery of this prestigious scheme.”
The extension will follow a route from the existing stop at St Paul’s via a new Snow Hill stop and then along a £9 million viaduct already built by developer Ballymore. The light railway will then continue down Upper Bull Street, Corporation Street and on to Stephenson Street, stopping outside a new entrance at the rebuilt New Street Station. The extension is scheduled for completion in 2015 with major work starting on the streets in early 2013. The new fleet of trams, which are to be built by Spanish manufacturer CAF, will start running in 2014.