Balfour Beatty – the UK’s largest infrastructure group – have been named as the preferred bidder to build the extension of Midland Metro through Birmingham City Centre between Snow Hill and New Street stations. At the same time as announcing this Centro also revealed that they hope major construction work will commence early in 2013 with the line open in 2015.
Balfour Beatty have now been invited to develop a “best and final offer” for the work which is part of the £127 million upgrade scheme for Midland Metro and also includes the purchase of new trams with contracts for this section signed with CAF last week. Centro’s project team will be working alongside Balfour Beatty over the next few months to finalise the design and construction proposals.
The extension will leave the current Midland Metro line just after St Paul’s tramstop with a
new stop for Snow Hill Station built before it runs on the £9 million viaduct which has already been built. It will then run down Upper Bull Street, Corporation Street and Stephenson Street before terminating outside a new entrance at the rebuilt New Street Station.
Geoff Inskip, Centro Chief Executive, said: “This is a prestigious project in the heart of Birmingham and it demands a construction partner of exactly the pedigree and calibre of Balfour Beatty. We worked with Balfour Beatty last year when they built the Metro bridge for us over Great Charles Street. That was a clear demonstration of their proven track record in delivering projects on budget and on time.”
The works will be closely co-ordinated with those taking place on the Gateway development of New Street Station and other city centre projects so as to try and minimise the obvious disruption works of this scale will inevitably cause.
As previously reported Centro recently signed contracts with CAF to supply a fleet of 20 new Urbos 3 trams which are due to be delivered to Midland Metro’s Wednesbury Depot (which itself is currently undergoing upgrade work) in 2014 for use on the current line before the extension is ready and open in 2015.