It has been confirmed that initial construction work on the Manchester Metrolink Second City Crossing (2CC) is to start in January 2014. The new line will provide greater capacity for Metrolink through Manchester city centre and will also be very useful at times of disruption.
The line will be start in Lower Mosley Street before running through the new St Peter’s Square and then onto Princess Street. It will then run along Cross Street and Corporation Street before rejoining the current Metrolink network just outside Victoria Station. A New stop will be built at Exchange Square and the existing stop at St Peter’s Square will be remodelled.
The first work will involve utility diversions and will commence on Monday 6th January. This will see gas pipes and electricity and phone cables moved away from the alignment of the tramway on Corporation Street between Withy Grove and Market Street. There will be localised road closures although access to businesses will be maintained at all times. In addition to the works on Corporation Street a number of work sites will be set up in the St Peter’s Square area.
Cllr Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “This will be the starter pistol for a marathon civil engineering project that is an essential part of the Metrolink expansion. The Second City Crossing (2CC) will increase the capacity, flexibility and reliability of all of the network’s new lines and enable them to operate to their fullest. As such, it will play a vital role in helping to build a strong and prosperous economy for Greater Manchester.”
The project should be completed by 2017, including remodelled stops at Deansgate-Castlefield and Victoria, although it is hoped that, subject to ERDF funding, the section to Exchange Square could be completed by 2015.
Peter Cushing, TfGM’s Metrolink Director, said: “It’s a significant piece of work and not without its challenges, but we have learnt a huge amount successfully delivering new street-running lines to Ashton, Oldham and Rochdale town centres and to Wythenshawe and Manchester Airport and we will be drawing on this experience to keep disruption to an absolute minimum. We have also established strong links with businesses in the city and I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t already done so to get in touch so we can keep them up to speed over the life of this project and beyond.”