Translink and the Northern Ireland’s Department for Infrastructure have joined construction partner Farrans Sacyr for a traditional ‘topping out’ ceremony of the new Belfast Grand Central Station transport hub.
The Topping out was marked with a ceremonial tightening of the last bolt in the highest point of the steel structure of the iconic new station.
Construction of the integrated transport hub, funded by the Department for Infrastructure, is rapidly progressing. When completed it will improve local and international connectivity with bus, coach and rail links across Northern Ireland and beyond. There will also be enhanced walking and cycling provision.
Julie Harrison, Permanent Secretary for Department for Infrastructure said “It is great to see the progress on this important flagship project, which reflects the hard work of the Translink project team, various contractors and suppliers who have got it to this stage.
“The outline of the new station is already a striking addition to the city’s skyline. When complete, the new station will bring a host of benefits to support the local economy and bring together many aspects of how we travel more sustainably, including greener and cleaner travel by bus, rail and cycling.”
Chris Conway, Translink CEO said, “Reaching this momentous point in the construction of Belfast Grand Central Station is a key milestone and I commend the hard work and commitment of everyone who has been involved to bring this project to this stage. It is becoming evident now the facility is taking shape, just how impressive the new station will be once it is complete, and it is certainly attracting a lot of interest.
“When completed in 2025 it will be the largest integrated transport facility on the island of Ireland and will contribute to the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of Northern Ireland and Belfast.”
Duane McCreadie, Project Director for Farrans Sacyr Joint Venture, said “Our team, working in collaboration with our client and all partner organisations, has made excellent progress on Belfast Grand Central Station and we remain on programme as we hit the topping out milestone. Everyone involved in this project has played a role in that success to date and I would like to commend them for their hard work and commitment to a high-quality end product, particularly in the face of the challenges that we have faced together.
“Members of the public will now be able to see the size and scale of this impressive structure. We are looking ahead to the future as we move to fit out the interior shell. We will continue to work closely with the local community and our stakeholders as we progress towards the station opening.”
A topping out ceremony is a construction tradition that has been carried out for centuries as a celebration of project milestones. Historically, it dates back to Scandinavian Folklore but is now a custom adopted across the world. Traditionally, it marks the final structural beam being put into place or the highest point being reached in the construction. The marking of this milestone provides an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the teams involved to reach this landmark in the construction programme.
Belfast Grand Central Station is the biggest public transport infrastructure project on the island of Ireland and represents one of the largest single investments in Northern Ireland. The new integrated public transport interchange comprises a station concourse, 26 bus stands, 8 railway platforms, bus maintenance and parking, bus access bridge, cycle and taxi provision, car parking, new public square, public realm improvements, highway improvements and infrastructure improvements. It will be the island’s largest transport hub.
(Picture – Translink)