Edinburgh’s Trams to Newhaven restarts construction work today on Leith Walk
Main construction work on the Edinburgh’s Trams to Newhaven project will begin today following the Scottish Government giving the green light for the construction industry to restart.
Work on the project was stopped at the end of March to comply with government guidance and to protect the safety of workers and residents during the coronavirus outbreak.
Main construction works on Leith Walk from Elm Row to Crown Place will start today (Mon).
Traffic management arrangements including Lothian Bus diversions are in place and involve Leith Walk being reduced to one city bound lane between London Road and Crown Place for the duration of the works.
All traffic management arrangements are made in consultation with key partners in the city, including blue light services and public transport providers through the Traffic Management Review Panel and are continuously monitored and reviewed to ensure they work as effectively as possible.
In line with guidance around social distancing, works will be carried out while maintaining physical distancing and additional measures to protect workers’ health will include daily briefings, continuous on-site inspections and health and safety ‘ambassadors’.
The council will also ensure that the numbers of workers on-site will be kept to a minimum and a large proportion of the project office staff will continue to work from home. While physical distancing will be a key principle of construction working, workers will also have access to personal protection equipment (PPE) which they may choose to wear as an additional precaution if they wish.
The logistic hubs at Mitchell Street, Foot of the Walk, Dalmeny Street, Albert Street and Montgomery Street will also reopen today (Mon) to support local businesses with deliveries and despatches. All communal bins that are currently situated on Leith Walk will be moved to the side streets.
Council Leader Adam McVey said: “With the site preparation works now completed and with updated advice from the Scottish Government, I am delighted that main construction works can now restart. As I’ve said previously, the safety of workers and the public is of utmost importance during this time and all works will be undertaken in compliance with the Government’s guidance on construction working and to allow physical distancing.
“We are continuing to review the construction programme and working patterns to look at ways in which we can mitigate against the impact of the 13-week COVID-19 shutdown given that we expect there to be less traffic on the roads.”
Alejandro Mendoza Monfort, Project Director of Sacyr Farrans Neopul, the main infrastructure contractor, said: “SFN are delighted that we can restart our works on the Trams to Newhaven project. We understand the importance that this project will have for Edinburgh’s future and are committed to ensuring that we continue to mitigate the impact of coronavirus.
“During this pause period, concentrated efforts have continued behind the scenes to develop and test a series of robust systems and procedures, whilst ensuring the highest level of health, safety and wellbeing can be provided.
“We have used this time to adapt to our new working world and developed new operating procedures that provide information, guidance and site-specific measures that will be implemented when conducting works to mitigate the impact, so far as reasonably practicable, of the virus.”