The construction of tram networks in the UK has shown overspends and delays in completion but bucking the trend is the latest addition to the Manchester Metrolink network being set to open almost a year early.
The MPT consortium has announced that the new line heading out to Wythenshawe and Manchester Airport will open before the end of 2014. The first stage of testing with trams running along the line begins today (23rd June). The line runs for 14.5km and has seen several major new structures, including a viaduct over the Mersey Valley, two new bridges over the M60 and M56, and the Ringway Road dual carriageway and underpass at the airport.
As a result of the construction process the existing street lighting and road signs along the route have been replaced and improvements have been made around the site of each of the fifteen new station stops. The service will begin from Cornbrook and run to the Airport every twelve minutes, and will begin to run through the city centre when the Second City Crossing is complete in 2017.
The early completion is a great result due to improved efficiency measures and early deliveries of resources that could then be put into place by the well equipped and trained workforce, from trousers and boots to hard hats and tools everyone has made a contribution to becoming, in the words of Councillor Andrew Fender, an ‘ultra-efficient machine’, and will see the Metrolink network expand to cover 92.5km of track with a total of 92 stops.