A crucial concrete pour was successful on Railway Drive in Wolverhampton as part of the Metro extension project, which links bus and train with tram signalling.
The final phase of main construction for the initiative is currently being carried out outside the revamped Station Plaza after the completion of the city’s new railway station.
The concrete pour has been done prior to the fist tracks being laid in this section later in the month.
Midland Metro Alliance (MMA) returned to the city centre in June, working on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), to carry out several developments to complete the project prior to the line opening for passenger service.
Further construction is set to continue during the summer and winter months, including finished works along Pipers Row and track laying on Railway Drive.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said “not only will this extension provide a further improvement to public transport services within Wolverhampton, but it also means that residents in the city will be able to travel seamlessly across the West Midlands.”
He added, “infrastructure projects such as these are key to the region’s economic recovery from the pandemic as we help create and protect local jobs, and I look forward to seeing continued progress over the coming weeks and months.”
The Wolverhampton City Centre Metro extension forms part of City of Wolverhampton Council’s and Transport for West Midlands’ plans to build a smooth transport interchange in the city centre.
Councillor Steve Evans, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Environment and Climate Change, added “a lot of hard work has been undertaken to deliver an Interchange scheme which will give our city the attractive public transport gateway that it deserves.”
He continued, "the Interchange is a big part of how we are re-imagining and re-inventing our city centre to help boost the local economy, create jobs and make the most of our neighbouring canal side areas, where we have major housing plans.”
Following the Government’s go ahead that work can continue throughout the pandemic, extra attention is being paid to the safety and wellbeing of teams and the public, with the MMA rolling out regular lateral flow testing to any staff working on the projects.
Once done, West Midlands Metro will operate at two new tram stops: one at the city’s bus station on Pipers Row, and another at Wolverhampton railway station. This means passengers can easily switch between several methods of transport to resume their journeys.
Paul Brown, MMA Construction Director, said “it was brilliant to celebrate a real-step forward for this project with today’s concrete pour. I am sure that those who are now using the revitalised railway can now see how much closer we are to opening the Metro line, too.”
The Director added, "we continue to work closely with our partners at City of Wolverhampton Council, Wolverhampton Business Improvement District, Network Rail, West Midlands Trains and Transport for West Midlands to keep local people informed.”