The new line’s contractor MPT had planned a series of possessions to connect the Trafford Park line to the Eccles line, but has now decided to condense these into a single 13-day closure in the summer. MPT is a joint venture between Laing O’Rourke, VolkerRail and Thales.
The contractor’s plan has been backed by Metrolink’s operator, KeolisAmey, and local stakeholders. TfGM said this approach would reduce service disruption by five days, and the works would be undertaken during summer holidays and would avoid major events.
TfGM also said the 13-day possession would minimise disruption on other lines, while it would allow third-party works adjacent to the Eccles and MediaCity lines to take place during the closure.
Construction of the £350m Trafford Park line is already well advanced, with the first track laid in February this year. Major utility diversions have been completed, while changes to the highway network, particularly around Peel Circle and Park Way Circle, are ongoing.
Transport for Greater Manchester's head of projects, Alex Cropper, said:
“We will be running a comprehensive communications campaign to keep local residents, businesses and customers informed about the closure and the alternative travel arrangements that will be in place.
"We have planned the work during the summer holidays to minimise the impact on our customers. The operator KeolisAmey Metrolink will also carry out other works at the same time to reduce future disruptions to service.
”We will ensure customers can still get to where they want to go and I would encourage them to visit our website or social media channels nearer the time for the latest information and advice.”
Temporary works including new retaining walls, are now in place around the Manchester Ship Canal, while access to all the land required for the scheme has now been secured.
The line, which will run from Pomona to the Trafford Centre via Trafford Park, is on course for completion in 2020.