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11.11.14

Construction work begins on Metrolink’s Second City Crossing

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has started construction work on the transformational Metrolink Second City Crossing through the city centre.

Preparatory utilities charting and redirecting works have been ongoing for months, but now the main works are starting earlier than expected thanks to European funding – TfGM secured a £10.8m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant earlier this year.

The foundations of the first section of the line will be laid between Victoria and Exchange Square, where there will be a new stop opposite Manchester Arndale.

Trams could be running between Victoria and a new stop in Exchange Square as early as winter 2015-16, which will also give Metrolink the ability to run more trams between Shaw and Crompton and the city, ahead of the whole Second City Crossing being completed in 2017.

Cllr Andrew Fender, chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “To see the start of construction getting under way so soon into the life of this project is hugely encouraging.

“I am really pleased we’re going to be able to bring the section between Victoria and Exchange Square into service so early, because it is going to be of huge benefit for businesses in a very popular and busy part of the city centre.”

The Second City Crossing is part of a co-ordinated three-year programme of works, known collectively as Grow. Between now and 2017, the city centre will see more than £1bn of investment in projects for ‘future proofing’ the city’s transport infrastructure.

Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s city centre spokesman, said: “Once it’s completed, the Second City Crossing will make the city much easier for visitors and our rapidly growing population to get around. While this is major construction work, we are all working hard to avoid any inconvenience.”

Work to move pipes and cables away from the path of the new tramway has been under way since the start of the year and will continue along sections of the route for a number of months.

The full route starts in Lower Mosley Street and will run through St Peter’s Square, turn down Princess Street and head along Cross Street and Corporation Street to the new Exchange Square stop. It will then run past the National Football Museum and Printworks to arrive at the Metrolink Victoria stop.

The current edition of RTM includes a special feature on Metrolink and the recently-opened extension to Manchester Airport, with input from all the key contractors and TfGM. Visit: http://www.railtechnologymagazine.com/Digital-Edition

(Image: An artist’s impression of the new Metrolink Exchange Square stop in Manchester City Centre – now being built as an island platform to maximise public space in the area. The final design will be agreed with city officials.)

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