Milestone for Edinburgh trams extension with largest concrete pour to date
The £207 million project to extend Edinburgh’s tram network to Newhaven has marked a major milestone with the largest concrete pour to date.
The main contractors, joint venture Sacyr Farrans Neopul (SFN), reports that the project remains on schedule for the line to be in operation in spring 2023.
The project is currently working in 12 separate sections across the route and the concrete pour took place on the bridge deck of Tower Bridge on Ocean Drive.
Taking approximately eight hours to complete, the pour involved 16 operatives from subcontractor Beattie’s FRC, 19 loads of concrete which equated to approximately 130 cubic meters, and 500m² of finishing works were undertaken.
This was a dual pour of 82 metres, with two concrete pumps, which equated to 164 linear meters of single-track slab having been poured. Hard landscaping works over Tower Bridge will now commence, as well as further track works progressing eastwards towards Tower Place.
Construction on Edinburgh Trams to Newhaven commenced in November 2019. The full scheme is valued at £207.3 million and is on schedule to be in operation in spring 2023. The 4.7km route will have eight tram stops and will complete the existing tram network, which currently connects the airport with the city centre, to the northeast of the city.
The construction of the new tram line will include 4.69km of track, with improvements to public realm along the route. The new tram route will run from York Place down through Leith Walk, Constitution Street, Ocean Terminal and then finish at Newhaven.
To date 84% of track slab has been laid (almost 4,000m), 100% of the necessary utility diversions have been carried out, and main construction work is complete on three new tram stops at Constitution Street, McDonald Road and Ocean Terminal, with works progressing well on the Balfour Street and Foot of the Walk stops. SFN has also installed 74 Overhead Line Equipment poles, 35% of the total along the route and over 4,000m of drainage infrastructure.
Maria Ortega, SFN project director on Edinburgh Trams York Place to Newhaven, said: “We continue to make excellent progress on this project on behalf of our client The City of Edinburgh Council and this concrete pour milestone is our latest major achievement. A concrete pour may look like a simple task from the outside, however there are so many different disciplines involved to ensure that it is undertaken in a safe and timely manner to deliver a high-quality end product.
“As contractors, SFN has brought extensive experience in the light rail sector to this project. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we are proud of the progress we have made by working successfully alongside our partners, supply chain and client. We look forward to this line being operational in spring 2023.”
Steve Jackson, project director at Turner & Townsend, said: “This is the third major concrete pour to take place on the project following the laying of track on one half of the busy thoroughfare on Leith Walk in February.
As we enter the final phase of construction works to deliver the Edinburgh Trams to Newhaven line, achievements such as this concrete pour begin to bring the project together in real life and allow people to see the positive transformational impact this system will have for them.”
Councillor Scott Arthur, transport and environment convener, said: “Delivering a major project like this in the centre of Scotland’s Capital does come with its challenges and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the community for their continued patience and support, and also apologise for any inconvenience.
“This is a key milestone for Trams to Newhaven and marks the team’s move into the final phase of construction. The route is really beginning to take shape and I look forward to the benefits it will bring when it is running in just under one year’s time. I’d like to thank the team for all they are doing to deliver this contract on time despite the impact of the pandemic.”