The new Birmingham New Street station and Grand Central shopping destination are a step closer to completion after demolition work to create the stunning new atrium came to an end.
More than 6,000 tonnes of concrete has been removed from under the new atrium allowing natural light to flood the new concourse for the first time. The impressive space was created using a bespoke JCB machine – fondly known as the Mega Muncher – which was used by local demolition firm Coleman & Company to remove two floors of concrete from the old station structure.
Now demolition is complete new structures will be hung from the atrium steelwork so work can begin to attach the streamline cladding to the atriumâ€™s interior ready for the stationâ€™s opening in September 2015.
Chris Montgomery, Network Railâ€™s project director for Birmingham New Street, said: â€œThe completion of this work marks a huge milestone for the project. Building the atrium roof and removing such a large amount of concrete from the centre of the building was a huge feat of engineering. I am proud of the way that Colemanâ€™s has completed the demolition in such a short space of time which allows us to move on to the next challenge of cladding the atriumâ€™s interior ready for the station opening later this year.â€
Mark Coleman from Coleman & Company said: â€œIn conjunction with Network Rail and Mace, we have worked on Birmingham New Street since June 2009. Successful delivery of this huge complex project is a credit to everyone involved. We have worked on every level in all areas of the station, removing 20,000 tons of mass reinforced concrete, used 1000 tonnes of temporary steelwork and removed materials with diamond tipped wires and state of the art robots.
â€œCarving out the atrium in six months as opposed to 12, without accident or incident, is a testament to collaboration between all of the team. We would like to thank everyone involved, particularly Network Rail for giving us this amazing opportunity.â€
Councillor Tahir Ali, cabinet member for development, transport and the economy, said: â€œThis is a really significant project for Birmingham, not just in terms of the physical transformation, but also the investment and on-going job opportunities. More than 1,300 city residents have been involved in the scheme so far, including 250 who were previously unemployed and the city council has also supported more than 100 young people into apprenticeships.
“All this should act as a blueprint for the opportunities that will arise at Grand Central. In fact, we have already started a recruitment drive through the Birmingham Growth Alliance Partnership, which aims to showcase the skills of the cityâ€™s jobseekers, whilst reflecting Birminghamâ€™s diverse community.â€
Richard Brown, Grand Central development director, said: “This is an exciting point in the Grand Central journey as we get closer to completing the major transformational change that the former Pallasades shopping centre has gone through. The work which has been going on behind the scenes and on site is truly incredible.
â€œGrand Central will be the jewel in Birminghamâ€™s retail crown, delivering a unique shopper experience which will look and feel distinctly different to other centres. We are pleased to be moving into the next stage of the project after which the retailers will begin to fit out the interiors of their new shops.â€
Martyn Woodhouse, project director for Mace, said: â€œThis is another important milestone for the project and a significant step towards launching a transformed New Street station that will be a landmark for the whole city.
â€œColemanâ€™s has made a fantastic contribution and formed part of a successful team here that are collectively driving the project forward on a number of fronts. The space left behind by the demolition will form the basis of a great new retail centre, and our focus is now on getting that space ready for the launch in September.â€
The completed Birmingham New Street station and Grand Central centre will open in September 2015.