Works to demolish a city centre building and pave the way for a new Metro route have been completed following months of complex activity.
There is now an empty space where the Kings Parade building once stood in Dale End after it was successfully levelled as part of works for the Birmingham Eastside Metro extension.
The Midland Metro Alliance (MMA), which is designing and delivering the route on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), began the demolition activity in October 2022 and timelapse footage has been released revealing the progress made.
In a nod to World Environment Day (celebrated on June 5) the MMA also plans to recycle the rubble produced by crushing it using specialist equipment and reusing it in other areas of the project, helping fulfil part of its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint during construction in an urban environment.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “It’s good news that the demolition of the Kings Parade building has now been completed. Standing in the Dale End area, you can now see the route that the new line will take from the existing line at Bull Street. The removal of this building also paves the way for the wider regeneration of this part of the city centre – making it more attractive to investors, visitors and local residents alike.”
Councillor Liz Clements, Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, added: “It is fantastic to see such considerable progress being made on this project. The city council’s Climate Change Action Plan has the pledge to reach net zero carbon by 2030 or soon as possible thereafter as a just transition allows, so it is crucial that major construction projects like the Metro extension take every step possible to reduce their carbon footprint. I look forward to seeing the new route take even more shape over the coming weeks and months.”
The demolition work began with the team stripping down the internal fabric of the building before moving on to the removal of the external structure earlier this year. Permits have been submitted to allow the aggregate, created by crushing the rubble which remains, to be laid and compacted for use in basement infill works in preparation for the track formation to be installed through the demolished building footprint.
When completed, this will not be the only contribution the MMA has made to sustaining and improving the planet as part of the scheme; carbon reducing concrete was used during concrete pours on the track, while solar energy powers the sites and cabins. New greenery, including trees, plants and shrubs, were also recently planted along Digbeth High Street, helping to contribute to a greener Birmingham.
Maria Ion, Project Director, said: “We are proud to continue our construction activities in the city centre in a responsible and sustainable way and with respect for our planet, people, stakeholders and local communities. We are 100 per cent committed to achieving our carbon footprint reduction targets. Implementing actions such as reusing the materials from the demolition are part of the wider plan to drive circular economy and reduce carbon emissions. This is another great milestone achieved on the project so well done to all the team who have worked extremely hard to achieve this.”
The construction work in Lower Bull Street remains on track to be completed in the summer allowing buses to return to the area in late July.
Once completed the new line will run from Bull Street, in the city centre, to Digbeth, adding four new tram stops to the Metro network. More than half of the 1.7km route is planned to be free of overhead wires, similar to the extension from Grand Central to Centenary Square.
Photo credit: Midland Metro Alliance