In a major milestone forward on the Birmingham Westside Metro extension, the final piece of track was welded into place.
The achievement, which represents the end of track laying on the project, means passenger services to a new terminus on Hagley Road continues to be on track to commence later this year.
Midland Metro Alliance, which is constructing the route on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), itself part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), has continued to make significant progress on the project throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
As main construction on the project now begins to be completed, the team will begin to move onto final works, including street scene improvements and the installation of overhead line equipment.
Essential testing and commissioning will then take place, ahead of passenger services beginning later this year.
Michael Anderson, projects director for West Midlands Metro, said: “It is incredibly exciting that the team has continued to press ahead whilst at the same time implementing new and unforeseen safety measures to reach this milestone.
"What the team at the Midland Metro Alliance has achieved in the last 12 months despite all the challenges they’ve faced is brilliant, and I know businesses on Broad Street will be thankful that we’ve been able to move forward with the works during lockdown to minimise the impact as they begin to reopen.
"This is a significant stage in the project as it means that we are ever closer to unlocking the many benefits the extension will bring to every part of our region, whilst other extensions to the East of Birmingham and from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill in the Black Country continue at pace as part of a wider transport plan for the West Midlands.”
Peter Cushing, Director at the Midland Metro Alliance, added: “Our teams have continued to work incredibly hard and have shown great commitment to complete this stage of the project.
"It is fantastic to see main construction coming to an end and the area has really transformed in recent weeks with the installation of new paving along Broad Street and Hagley Road.
“All at the Alliance share great pride in delivering such a transformative tram extension for the city and we are delighted to see the area beginning to take shape.”