The end of March will see the first big test of just how well the Trams to Newhaven project team have indeed learnt from the lessons of constructing the first phase of Edinburgh Trams as the main phase of construction will get underway on Leith Walk. With work starting on 28th March and continuing through until the summer of 2021, Leith Walk will be reduced to one city bound lane between London Road and Crown Place for the complete duration of the works.
The approach to construction on Leith Walk will be one section being attended to at a time – with both utility diversion and tramway construction taking place concurrently rather than the team coming in to divert the utilities, the road reopening and construction then taking place at a later date. It is hoped that this plan will see less disruption to local residents and businesses.
The construction schedule across the extension due to start from this March are:
London Road to Crown Place – 28th March 2020 to Autumn 2021
Ocean Drive – 13th March 2020 to Autumn 2020
Newhaven to Melrose Drive – 6th March 2020 to Summer 2021
Queen Charlotte Street to Constitution Place – already underway and continuing until Autumn 2020
Foot of the Walk to Coatfield Lane – already underway and continuing until Spring 2021
Speaking about the start of works on Leith Walk, Cllr Lesley Macinnes, Transport and Environment Convener, said: “We are about to reach a major milestone in the project to take the trams to Newhaven, as we prepare for the main phase of works on Leith Walk. We are already progressing well with the first phase of the project on Constitution Street and the Trams to Newhaven team have been working closely with contractors and transport operators to plan this next crucial stage. We will continue to engage with residents and businesses to keep them up-to-speed with plans as the project progresses.”
From 28th March until 11th April fencing will be erected around the construction site in preparation for the physical work to start. At the same time traffic management arrangements will be put into place with diversionary routes in place and signage will be put up to let motorists know of these plans. Lothian Bus services will also be diverted for the duration of works.
Cllr Karen Doran, Transport and Environment Vice Convener, commented: “This is a transformational project for the city as a whole, but we’re aware of the particular impact this work will have on the people living nearby. That’s why our team has been making every effort to share information on the process, as well as providing support to adapt to the changes for residents and businesses.”