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Monday, December 4, 2023

Birmingham Eastside Lower Bull Street works on track following carbon-reducing concrete pour

Track installation for the Birmingham Eastside Metro extension is nearing completion in Lower Bull Street following a successful concrete pour for the newly-laid rail.

The latest milestone on the project saw a total of 200m3 of sustainably-mixed concrete poured for the delta junction, which will allow trams to travel in six different directions between Digbeth, Edgbaston and the Black Country.

The Midland Metro Alliance, working on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), is continuing to make significant progress on the eagerly-anticipated scheme and the recent progress comes just two months after the first pieces of track were installed.

The ongoing track works are set to be completed in the summer allowing buses that were diverted when construction got underway in 2021 to return to serving Lower Bull Street.

Councillor Liz Clements, Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, added: “This Metro extension is a key part of Birmingham’s response to the challenge of climate change as the new route will provide a sustainable option for travel across the city. It is exciting to see that such significant progress has been made and that our collective efforts to combat the climate emergency are even being considered during design and delivery. I look forward to further milestones being achieved in this next stage of the project.”

In a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint during construction, the MMA used low-carbon fibre reinforcement concrete for the pour, which included 50 per cent Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (GBBFS), a compound which allows less traditional concrete without a compromise on quality.

Construction has been ongoing along Lower Bull Street since spades hit the ground and this section of the project has seen significant progress with the external structure of the Kings Parade building now being removed, the installation of street furniture and the final section of track for the complex junction, which won a major engineering award in October 2021, being welded into place. Progress has also continued in Digbeth High Street with the installation of trees, shrubs and soft landscaping.

Maria Ion, Project Director at the Midland Metro Alliance, said: “The MMA recognises the importance of using new and emerging technologies to reduce the environmental impact of designing and building the tramway and we were proud to have delivered a carbon reduction last year of almost 2,000 tonnes of CO2 across all of our activities. Working with our supply chain, we’re pleased to continue this sustainable activity using this earth-friendly concrete.”

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.

Photo credit: Midland Metro Alliance

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