A brand new canal bridge has been installed marking a major step in the £56m redevelopment of Birmingham’s University railway station
The canal bridge crosses the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, connecting the new station to the University of Birmingham campus, and on its opening during the summer of 2022 will see thousands of passengers cross it every day.
The current 1970s building covers both the University of Birmingham campus and Queen Elizabeth Hospital making it one of the busiest stations in the region. Once complete the new building will provide passengers with increased capacity and comfort.
Andy Street who is Mayor of the West Midlands along with representatives of partner organisations were the first to get a close look at the new bridge as they enjoyed a tour of the site on a visit to check the progress on construction.
The station buildings are currently being put together via a 480-tonne flat-pack structure, the parts of which are produced off-site and assembled on-site which allows for faster construction.
A massive 1,500 Square meters of concrete columns, beams and wall sections have been brought together to create the outer shell of the new buildings and are supported by foundations which are made up of 403 underground concrete columns. The giant concrete frame is now finished with a brick-effect cladding being fitted with the impressive work being carried out by VolkerFitzpatrick under contract from Transport for West Midlands.
The main building is located on Vincent Drive and a smaller second building is positioned between the railway line and canal.
Andy Street said: “Last time I was on site it was an empty plot of land – so I am delighted to see how much progress has been made in just a few months. It really is an impressive achievement that progress has been made so quickly on the new station while the busy Cross City Line and existing station are continuing to stay open, with disruption to the travelling public kept to a minimum.
“We all know the current station is stretched well beyond its capacity and isn’t fit for purpose anymore, and so this work will make a real difference to the thousands of commuters that use the station every single day.”
Cllr Karen McCarthy, from Birmingham City Council, said: “Improved public transport and better access to rail links is vital for neighbourhoods like Selly Oak and Edgbaston, and those travelling into the university and hospitals. It will also help reduce congestion and improve air quality as we work towards become a net zero carbon city.”
Brenda Lawrence, head of stations for West Midlands Railway, said: “We welcome this significant investment which will make a real difference to the millions of passenger journeys at University station every year.”
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