Ainscough Crane Hire’s ability to deliver expert lifting solutions for major infrastructure projects – even to tight deadlines – was demonstrated this weekend in Birmingham.
Ainscough was appointed by the Midland Metro Alliance to help deliver a crucial element of the second phase of the Birmingham Westside Metro extension, which will bring Metro services from the current Library terminus to Edgbaston Village.
The Birmingham Westside Metro extension is being delivered by the Midland Metro Alliance on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), in two phases:
• Phase one runs from Grand Central, past Birmingham’s Town Hall Library, serving Victoria Square and the Paradise and Arena Central developments at the redeveloped Centenary Square. The route opened for passenger service ahead of schedule in December 2019.
• Phase two is the further extension of the route from Centenary Square along Broad Street to e Edgbaston Village. Stops will serve Brindleyplace, Five Ways, and the terminus on Hagley Road.
After an enquiry to Ainscough’s Birmingham Depot on Monday 18th October regarding the lifting of the substation, Ainscough’s Heavy Cranes operations director Andrew Spink undertook a site visit following a briefing on the project by the area sales manager, Rob Groat.
The substation will power the new trams that will run from Centenary Square to Hagley Road as part of the extension and Ainscough worked with the client in order to manage road closures for the operation, which took place in the heart of Birmingham at Five Ways island.
Ainscough’s contract lift manager for the project – Ross Chappell – visited the site on Wednesday with Rob Groat in order to have a meeting with the wider traffic management team.
A Liebherr LG 1550 crane was used for the substation lift, with a 100t crane used to load the ballast weight and ekki mats.
Ainscough’s team arrived on-site just before midnight on Saturday 23rd. After safety inductions had been completed, the 1550 crane began to be erected at 3am.
By 8.30am, the crane was ready to lift the substation into place. The operation itself only took two hours. This enabled the road closures – including the Five Ways island and a complete shutdown in both directions of Islington Row Middleway bypass – to be lifted over twelve hours ahead of schedule.
Rob Groat, area sales manager for Ainscough Crane Hire, said: “The work being undertaken by the Midland Metro Alliance is really exciting, and will improve transport links in the heart of Birmingham, making journeys faster and more accessible.
“We were therefore pleased to be able to deploy our team’s expertise and our industry-leading fleet to deliver this crucial lift as part of phase two of the Birmingham Westside Metro extension.
“Through close collaboration with our client, we were able to ensure a safe and efficient lift took place, planned within a tight timeframe but delivered ahead of schedule, ensuring disruption in this busy part of Birmingham was kept to a minimum.”
Stephen Christopher, construction director at Midland Metro Alliance, said: “Works to install the new electrical substation unit were completed successfully and we were able to reopen the road ahead of schedule, which was a fantastic achievement. I am extremely proud of the team for their hard work. We would like to thank the local community and the travelling public for their patience and understanding whilst these works took place.”