New phase for Birmingham’s Eastside Metro extension as initial preparations begin for track laying

Urban realm improvements which will help transform Digbeth as part of the Birmingham Eastside Metro extension have been completed and new carriageway opened as the project progresses to the next stage of construction.

New paving has now been installed along the length of the northern side of Digbeth High Street allowing activity to switch to the opposite side of the busy thoroughfare ahead of track laying commencing later next year.

Construction for the extension has been ongoing on the Custard Factory side of Digbeth High Street and surrounding side streets since spades hit the ground in summer 2021, and since then the Midland Metro Alliance, which is building the scheme on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and Birmingham City Council, has made considerable progress including utility upgrades and diversions, the installation of the first section of rail and the demolition of the Hartwell’s building.

Michael Anderson, Metro Programme Director at TfWM, said: “It is great to see construction on the Birmingham Eastside Metro extension moving in the right direction. As with most construction projects of this kind it has not come without its challenges, but the completion of the main urban realm activity marks a new and exciting phase of this ambitious scheme and welcome improvement for business and residents in the area with a new and open aspect to Digbeth High Street.

“It means that the team can start to prepare for track to be laid on the opposite side of the high street which is when the extension will really start to take shape. This project will be a game-changer for those living, working and visiting the Eastside of the city, as its links with HS2 will help improve connectivity in the Digbeth area as well as to other parts of the region.”

The Birmingham Eastside Metro extension will run from Bull Street, in the city centre, to Digbeth, adding four new tram stops to the Metro network. More than half of the 1.7km route is planned to be free of overhead wires, similar to the extension from Grand Central to Centenary Square.

Image credit: Birmingham City Council

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