The Midland Metro Alliance, a partnership set up to deliver £1.2bn worth of tram routes, is to start its first major piece of work.
The Alliance is made up of the West Midlands Combined Authority, the design consortium of Egis, Tony Gee and Pell Frischmann and contractor Colas Rail, with sub-alliance partners Colas, Barhale, Bouygues UK and Auctus Management Group. It was inaugurated last July.
The first major works will be a £16M replacement of tram tracks on Bilston Road Metro Line which runs between Birmingham and Wolverhampton. The work will be between Priestfield and Wolverhampton St. George’s. It is on a major A road arterial route into Wolverhampton, which will also be completely resurfaced during the programme of work. The current track is 20 years old and it will be replaced by a new track form which is easier to maintain.
Transport for West Midlands metro programme director Phil Hewitt said: “Its life has expired, it has suffered a number of problems that have arisen probably from the fact it was an early second generation tramway. There are some design problems and there are some construction problems. We have taken the decision to reconstruct that whole section.
“The quickest, easiest and probably cheapest way of doing it is take everything out and start again.”
The work starts mid June and should be finished by Christmas.
The next big piece of work for the Alliance will be a 250m stretch of tramway in central Birmingham from New Street Station to Centenary Square. It is hoped the Alliance will be on site later this year.