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Manchester Metrolink Airport Line named Major Civil Engineering Project of the Year

MPT, the consortium delivering the Greater Manchester Metrolink’s expansion, scooped the award for Major Civil Engineering Project of the Year (over £50m) for their successful delivery of the Manchester Airport Line at the prestigious British Construction Industry Awards; during a ceremony at Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

The MPT consortium, formed of VolkerRail, Laing O’Rourke and Thales delivered the 14.5km route from St. Werburghs Road, Chorlton to Manchester Airport via Wythenshawe more than 12 months ahead of schedule.

MPT operations director Bryan Glass, said: “It is great for all parties involved to be recognised at the highest level for this project. We believe the Airport Line is an outstanding example of civil, system and railway engineering in Britain and we’re very proud. After three and a half years of design and construction it is great to see the Airport Line fully functional and providing a positive resource to the local community.”

Steve Cocliff, managing director for VolkerRail said: "VolkerRail is pleased to have played a part alongside our partners, Laing O’Rourke, and Thales, in delivering the Airport Line connection. Deliverying this project on budget and 1 year ahead of programme is one of our greatest acheivements."

Peter Cushing, Transport for Greater Manchester’s Metrolink director said: “Everyone involved in delivering this impressive civil engineering project can be rightly proud of this award. It is testament to the team work and innovative method of delivery that the line was up and running over 12 months ahead of schedule, helping local communities and visitors to the region get around locally and to the country’s largest Airport outside the London region. This is the third national award the Manchester Airport line has picked up in the last few months, which speaks volumes about the approach taken to delivering this important transport link.”

The judges described the project as “an exemplary example of transport infrastructure delivery”. The award recognised the collaborative approach that was taken engaging the client, suppliers, key stakeholders and the local communities. Staff volunteering in community projects helped raise £75,000 for local charities.

The new line has resulted in a number of positive impacts on the local area. The re-construction of the urban area along the whole route has allowed for the re-modelling of Wythenshawe Town Centre. The creation of 15 new fully accessible tram stops has made it easier for the growing population to access South Manchester and the surrounding area.

The project included a 300-space Park and Ride facility at Sale Water Park stop, and two 580-tonne motorway bridges, the 337m-long viaduct over the Mersey Valley and the remodelling of 28 highway junctions.

The line is exceeding passenger targets by 20% and is delivering economic regeneration and employment opportunities to a number of deprived communities.

The Manchester Airport line also won the ‘Civil Engineering Achievement of the Year’ award, at the recent National Rail Awards and was named Project of the Year in the projects over €50m category at the Light Rail Awards.

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