The City Centre tunnels opened today (01/09) after six weeks of refurbishment works.
Phase two of refurbishment works inside the City Centre tunnels, which began on Friday 18th July, has seen workers renew the ventilation system, install new security and communications systems, replace electrical systems and refurbishing pumping stations and plant rooms.
Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Development, Transport and the Economy, Councillor Tahir Ali, said: “I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who changed their mode of transport during the closures and helped the city cope. Once again the people of Birmingham have proved that, if we work together, we can ensure that challenging but necessary improvements can be carried out with minimal disruption.
This is an exciting time for Birmingham with lots of major developments in the pipeline, including the extension of the Midland Metro and the planned redevelopment of Paradise Forum. It is great that the people of the city are playing such an active role while we build a better Birmingham.”
Despite the tunnels reopening to daytime traffic, the team behind the works will not yet be downing tools as the refurbishment now moves into a planned phase of testing and commissioning the new systems, which will take place overnight between 10PM - 6PM until October.
Tests will include everything from acoustic measurements of safety announcements to full scale incident response scenario resilience tests.
Due to the unpredictable nature of this phase of the works, and to help the team schedule night closures to avoid major events in the city such as the Conservative Party Conference, the September night closures have been extended through October.
Highways Network Manager for Amey, Eddie Fellows, said: “This is not the end of the project for us. We still have a lot of work to do to carry out final system tests and checks during overnight closures, as well as works inside the plant rooms while the tunnels are open to traffic.
We want to carry out these works with minimal disruption to the city so we have decided not to close on some nights while major events are taking place. We will be working hard during the night closures so that we can complete the testing and commission phase as early as possible. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.”