Those of you who looked at last week’s Photo Galleries would have seen some photos from the Trafford Park extension of Manchester Metrolink where the first work has now started on construction. This first stage is the diversion of various utilities and having experience of this work across the expanded network a collaborative approach will once again be taken with up to 40 ducts and pipes relayed for electricity, water, gas and telecommunications by one contractor within each joint utility trench.
This strategy removes the need for each utility company to dig up the road on different occasions and should enable the work to be completed quicker and also at a lower cost. Representatives from each utility company, Trafford Council, TfGM and MPact-Thales worked together to identify parallels within their designs. A combined design was then drawn up by Electricity North West.
Cllr Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “A key benefit of delivering our phenomenal Metrolink expansion programme is that it has allowed the team to develop innovative and collaborative ways of working, such as the joint utility trench strategy. As a result, we’ve seen substantial cost savings against original estimates for utility diversions. We’ve also seen other significant programme benefits, most recently through the delivery of the Second City Crossing, our new line through the heart of Manchester and, significantly, the Manchester Airport line, which completed more than a year ahead of schedule.”
Trenches have currently been dug along Barton Dock Road and Trafford Wharf Road and more will follow along the remainder of the route to Trafford Park.