New Street Station July 2013 Update
There continues to be much progress on New Street Station and the new John Lewis store
since my update at the end of May, New Street Station May 2013 update. As Rail Engineer notes, http://www.therailengineer.com/2013/07/01/transforming-new-street-six-projects-within-a-project/, many of the constituent parts of the redevelopment project would be engineering projects in themselves.
Many passengers will not notice the frenzy of work taking place, much away from view, but also the work to ensure the project continues to allow the station and thoroughfares to continue in operation. The work to remove tonnes of concrete from the former car park to allow for the new concourse and holes to allow for the new lifts and escalators was safely undertaken without disruption to the live station below.
Coleman & Company made such a good job of it, with its innovative use of the gantry cranes and runways, that it won the 2011 Contract of the Year award at the World Demolition Summit in Amsterdam.
The next substantial amount of concrete to be removed will be the roof slab which will give way to the new atrium roof and shine daylight onto the concourse. To remove this slab, steelwork for the new atrium roof, together with the transparent EFTE panels which this will carry, has to be in place to provide weatherproofing for the demolition works. The 200 tonne steel arches will add weight to the building before the concrete is removed and the works have been designed to allow for a strengthening of the structure and temporary supports to allow the demolition.
Many of the works associated with the continued redevelopment are themselves temporary, allowing work to continue while the station and thoroughfares remain open.
Risk management was the driving force behind another of Richard Thorpe’s chosen topics. Tunnels, in this context, aren’t the holes in the ground that the trains run in. Rather, they are the pedestrian tunnels which passengers and shoppers walk through and which guide them around the part-constructed station. 140,000 passengers, as well as 40,000 shoppers, pass through the station each day.
The picture below from 20 March shows the construction of the shell to protect the new concourse from works continuing to take place around the open station.
The tunnels provide safe routes through the station while allowing work to continue above or around them. The first, the longest of the three tunnels, starts from the top of the escalators to the Pallasades shopping centre and winds through the remains of the former Pallasades shopping centre towards the Bullring Link. The second runs under the base of the new John Lewis store to the Hill Street entrance and has a strong metal roof which can resist a stray scaffolding pole dropped end-on. The third uses the former concourse bridge which had to remain to allow access to both ends of each platform. This is being constructed modularly working from the ends towards the middle. When the sections join in the middle work can start on the former concourse safely away from station users.
Work is also continuing on the stainless steel facade which continues to inch along with the supports now extending to above the Pallasades ramp. With the curved shape each panel is unique and accompanying supports therefore individually made and fitted to hold the panels
The external brackets bolt back to the building. However, that also had a façade, albeit a concrete one, which is not structural. So the bracketry has to pass through this to pick up a structural wall further back in the building. That places extra loading on the main building, both from the weight of the steelwork and from the wind loading on the finished façade. Designer Atkins had to undertake yet more structural strength calculations.
There was an added complication when the designers wanted to change the fastenings that fix the panels to the structure. This was to ensure a forty year life, based on observation of test panels that had been erected offsite at Bordesley Green. However, this change invalidated the planning permission, so a new application had to be made. That is now in place, and hasn’t delayed the fitting of the panels unduly.
The photos below show Stephenson Street and the cladding and extension of the supports for the cladding over the Pallasades shopping centre ramp.
8 June, awaiting erection on the concrete structure.
27 June, erected.
Work, aside from the completed new concourse, is most noticable on the new John Lewis store which has almost risen to it's full size and now dominates the bottom of Hill Street. The new store will provide a welcome focus on the Southside area and change the geography and permeability of the surrounding area. The former 300 space car park above the Pallasades was removed after the structure was found to have suffered from chloride corrosion from water dripping off cars and additives in the original material but is being replaced by a new 450 space car park that will soon rise alongside the John Lewis structure and the arch for the new atrium.
Photos below show work on the John Lewis Store.
The new square fronting the station has now been fully covered and work taken place to waterproof it.
It is also worth noting that there has been some critique of the flooring for the new station and while the floor continues to mark in places from the heavy station use, Rail Engineer notes the granite floor tiles were rough cut in China and finished off in the UK to a specification that was developed following testing using strips of various finishes and coatings in heavily-trafficked pedestrian areas, http://www.therailengineer.com/2013/07/01/transforming-new-street-six-projects-within-a-project/