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Balfour Beatty starts on £18.6m metro extension

Balfour Beatty has started work on the £18.6m project to extend Birmingham’s Midland Metro tramway.

The contractor was named preferred bidder for the 1.4km extension project in May 2012 beating Morgan Sindall and Thomas Vale to the job, and a deal was signed last September.

It has since worked with Birmingham’s transport authority Centro and key stakeholders to deliver a “best and final” offer for the project that will link Birmingham’s two major rail stations.

Balfour Beatty is working with its in-house professional services division Parsons Brinckerhoff to design, build, test and commission the £18.6m tramway.

The project also involves improvements to streets and public realm spaces, including natural stone paving, street furniture, lighting and landscaping.

Agreements with Balfour Beatty’s supply chain aim to achieve local recruitment levels of 75 per cent on the project, and the local Employment Access Team will connect jobseekers with opportunities on the project.

Balfour Beatty director of operations Bill Gifford said: “We have a long standing presence in the West Midlands, so we’re delighted to be delivering a scheme that will contribute so significantly to the region’s economic and social prosperity.

“We are also committed to helping build lasting communities, and as a local employer we want to make sure that throughout the duration of the project, we’re helping to support those who are currently unemployed getting back to work.”

The extension is one element of a wider £127m project that will see a fleet of 20 new trams for the Midland Metro system, which runs between Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

In 2010, Centro appointed Balfour Beatty to build a new bridge for the Midland Metro over Great Charles Street in Birmingham, which was completed in 2011 to time and budget.

Construction is underway on site with operational service expected to begin by 2015.

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