The major milestones in the construction of the Birmingham Westside extension seem to be coming thick and fast and the latest to be celebrated is the installation of a crossover on Hagley Road which will allow trams to access both tracks when arriving and departing from the new terminus.
The Westside extension is due to be open next year and will be a further extension of the line from Library with new stops provided at Brindleplace, Five Ways and the terminus at Hagley Road. Excellent progress has continued be made throughout 2020 despite restrictions put in place as a result of Coronavirus. The work to install the crossover began in late October with the track put into place during the second week of November.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Big construction projects have a critical role to play in our region’s economic recovery from coronavirus as they help to create and protect local jobs in the construction industry – one of our region’s biggest employers. It is therefore brilliant to see the Westside metro extension reach this key milestone, whilst our other extensions to the East of Birmingham and from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill in the Black Country continue at pace as part of my transport plan for the West Midlands. It was great to be able to speak to the construction team to congratulate them for their hard work during these difficult times, and I am sure we will have many more metro milestones to celebrate in the coming months.”
Cllr Waseem Zaffar, Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, added: “The Metro extension is a key part of Birmingham’s response to the challenge of climate change and this new route provides a sustainable option for travel across the city which is important ahead of the implementation of the Clean Air Zone. We’re grateful that the team have been able to continue to work safely in challenging times to keep the project on schedule.”
And Peter Cushing, Director of the Midland Metro Alliance, said: “The installation of the switch and crossing is a fantastic achievement for the team especially considering the challenging times we continue to be in. In coming weeks, the Hagley Road area will really start to take shape with the terminus tram stop installed and grass track laid just outside of this area. There is still lots of work to do throughout the coming months and into 2021, but people are getting a real taste of what the final product will look like.”