As the opening of this £540m twin development nears, we take a look at the outside.
Will they be ready in time?
The full new station is to open at 7:30am next Sunday 20th September followed by the Grand Central Shopping Centre and the John Lewis store next Thursday 24th.
The opening dates were put back drastically from the originals in 2014. Looking at the outside of the developments a few weeks ago and I would have said that I had serious doubts that the constructions would be acceptably near-completed – see my previous article with photos on 25 August.
For some time the project managers when interviewed on TV have said they will definitely make the publicised revised completion dates.
And now, having pulled out all the stops, brought in around 3000 construction workers, worked weekends and other extra time, I think they’re gong to make the deadline dates!
Some things will not be totally completed and the Network Rail main Project Manager, when interviewed on BBC Midlands News today, said the station itself would not be fully completed for another year.
The external appearance of the development is obviously very important when the country’s top press will be taking and publishing photos. Included in this appearance are the surrounding and nearby streets. These have suffered much roadworks for the past four years due to the extended Metro Line, the Combined Heat and Power system (CHP) pipe and cable laying, as well as the need to use surrounding streets for the station projects for building site purposes.
This Friday morning (18th) I wandered around the surrounding streets taking photographs which are shown in a gallery below.
The Route Taken…
Click here to open a Google map of the area of the route below (opens in a separate window.)
The route taken starts at Corporation Street and progresses around the development going west along Stephenson Street and Navigation Street, then south down Hill Street, east along Station Street, north along Smallbrook Queensway then west along the walk link from Bullring back to the bottom of Corporation Street.
Article by Geoff Caine
PS. If you have any thoughts on the outside of the development you can leave them in a comment (see below the Gallery).
1. View a larger version of a single image in a separate page – Right Click on the image then Left Click on “Open link in new tab” or “Open link in new window”.
2. Display an enlarged gallery – Left Click on an image – use the large side arrows to move between images – Left Click outside an image or press ESC to close the enlarged gallery.
Corporation Street down to the station and the ramp is still being surfaced and the new handrail completed.
Stephenson Street is almost clear apart from two temporary traffic blocking barriers. Note the super large distorted mirror effect the stainless steel cladding presents to the visitor.
A glance up Stephenson Street towards Penfold Street shows the completed Metro tram tracks and no road works.
View towards the Stephenson Street entrance shows an area of missing stainless steel cladding on the west side – unlikely to be completed by Sunday or even Thursday, I think.
Looking east through wall bars shows the old bridge across the tracks has not been clad!
A view of the cladding in Hill Street shows the “artistic” reflection of surrounding buildings.
Approaching Station Street from Hill Street with the pedestrian ramp to John Lewis entrance on the left shows the start of fairly substantial road and building works.
Looking down from the pedestrian ramp to the junction of Hill Street and Station Street.
Looking to the east from the ramp shows some substantial works outside the John Lewis entrance.
A close up of these works. The two triangular constructions are large planters.
Steps down from southern entrance below John Lewis store.
A close-up of the works from the flight of steps showing the reflections in the overhead cladding and the two planters.
View of John Lewis and station entrance from Hill Street.
A closer view of the entrance shows that two large mature trees have been planted partly obscuring (Why?) the view of the large programmable display over the entrance stairs.
The trees are truly deeply planted!
Looking from the start of Station Street to the entrance over the flight of steps to John Lewis and the programmable display.
View west along Station Street shows an unfinished building wall.
The view from Debenhams (in Bullring) over Smallbrook Queensway to the east facing station entrance shows a lot of work in progress at ground level.
However, looking west along the walk link from Bullring shows that the station building has been completed.
Continuing along the walk link through a not too attractive “tunnel”. Surely such an important passage needs cladding urgently!
Arriving back at Corporation Street shows the completed Metro track and absence of roadworks.
View north from New Street along Corporation Street shows largely completed track and absence of roadworks.
Looking west along New Street shows absence of the long term CHP trench work.