The new Central Park business park is viewed as a crucial catalyst in the regeneration of East Manchester and it is set to expand to 160ha over ten years, making it a major employment base. The transport gateway project provides a fully integrated hub, where road, rail, bus and Metrolink services converge, encouraging the use of public transport and providing safe, flexible transport options. We were lead designer for the transport hub for Balfour Beatty.
Arterial road access to Central Park is via the A62 Oldham Road, which is separated from the site by the Manchester to Rochdale main railway line. The transport project required the construction of a new access road — The Gateway — and signalised junction on Oldham Road, incorporating bus, cycle and pedestrian priorities. The Gateway passes under a new bridge jacked below the railway lines.
Manchester's Metrolink tram system is being established outwards from Manchester Victoria to Oldham. The Central Park transport project involved the construction of a new Metrolink station, 1.6km of permanent way enabling works and a new bridge to take the tramlines across the railway — all part of phase 3 of Metrolink. The station is constructed on its own bridge, with the platforms carried over a plaza area, and the bridge also spanning the new Central Park access road. A cable-stayed canopy covers the station, providing a dramatic visual symbol for the development.
The new post-tensioned concrete finback bridge that carries the Metrolink line across the railway is 155m long. It was constructed beside the rail line and lifted and rotated into position during a single weekend possession. Our innovative design for this bridge was pivotal in Balfour Beatty securing the construction contract.
In addition to designing the bridges, permanent way, station canopy and new road and junction, our consultants provided geotechnical and environmental engineering, and track and site drainage design.