Following ahead of schedule utility diversion works and a EUR10.8m grant from the European Regional Development Fund, early November saw the official start of construction works on Manchester Metrolink’s Second City Crossing, part of a three-year programme of urban redevelopment known as Grow.
Designed to address capacity issues and remove bottlenecks for the system in the city centre, the foundations of the first section will be laid between Victoria and Exchange Square, where there will be a new stop opposite Manchester Arndale. The additional line will diverge from the Bury and Rochdale line at Victoria station, running via Exchange Square – the site of a new stop – along Corporation Street, Cross Street and Princess Street to rejoin the route to Altrincham, Didsbury and Manchester Airport in Lower Mosley Street. A new, larger capacity stop is being created at St Peter’s Square.
As well as partially funding the Victoria – Exchange Square section, the ERDF grant will also support reconstruction of the Deansgate-Castlefield stop with three platforms and a central reversing track.
The Second City Crossing is due to be completed in 2017, although Transport for Greater Manchester hopes that trams from Shaw and Crompton will be running as far as Exchange Square by the end of 2015 or early 2016.
An artist’s impression of the Exchange Square stop has also been published ahead of the final design being agreed, for more information visit www.transformationinformation.co.uk