Manchester's 2CC tram line: Disruption 'inevitable' says TfGM
Manchester's new city centre tram line will cause disruption "akin to the first phase of the Metrolink", a transport official has warned.
Construction work has been approved on the £165m Second City Crossing (2CC) linking St Peter's Square and Victoria station.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) said work would start on 6 January.
Chairman Andrew Fender said it had been carefully planned but disruption and road closures were inevitable.'Mammoth project'
The line will start in Lower Mosley Street and travel through St Peter's Square, Princess Street, Cross Street and Corporation Street before rejoining the existing line outside Victoria station.
Mr Fender, Labour councillor for Old Moat ward, said it was a" mammoth project" but the extra crossing was needed to "increase capacity, flexibility and reliability".
He said: "It will play a vital role in helping to build a strong and prosperous economy for Greater Manchester."
He said TfGM had worked "very closely" on the extension plans with Manchester City Council to fit in with its plans to pedestrianise St Peter's Square.
He said work had been broken into "bite-sized" chunks and main roads in the city centre would be closed temporarily.
"We have planned it very carefully to keep disruption to a minimum."
Work begins with diverting gas pipes and electricity and phone cables on Corporation Street between Withy Grove and Market Street on 6 January.
The 2CC project is expected to be complete by 2016-17, said Mr Fender.