With deadlines looming for completion of work on the all-important new tramway junction crossing the Promenade and through Talbot Square - pressure is on the Contractors. Extensive new realignment of the Promenade roadway to take into account the swept path of light rail vehicles entering and leaving Talbot Square means adjustment to the traffic layout opposite North Pier.
All of the tram track curvatures have now been completed and connected and need to fill in and tarmac over the road surface which has been excavated for a considerable distance - is imminent. Installation of new tram overhead poles has begun in parts.
However expectation of any early operation of trams on the extension to North Station, (other than perhaps nighttime testing) is doomed to further delays probably into late 2020 or even 2021. The reason being completion of legal agreements between the Council and owners of the Wilko property remain a work in progress. Terms would seem to require provision of new town centre premises for the Wilko business before any closure of the existing store which would free up the site and its subsequent demolition.
Very little in the way of transparancy over the exact terms and possible timeframes have been revealed lately - other than assurances by the Council that current work on the street track and promenade will be completed well in time for the Easter influx of visitors. Demolition of the Wilko building is however a further stage of work necessary to allow completion of the tramtrack at the planned terminus and station platform.
Promenade roadway excavated for realignment and resurfacing opposite the northbound tram station. One of the newly installed overhead poles is seen in place. Below : Two further new overhead poles can be seen alongside the roadway as the new track connections await road resurfacing across the from Talbot Square.
A further view of the new permanent way positioned from the double junction in Talbot Square very much in the same position as the original Marton (and Layton) tram terminus from 1901 to 1962. Steel work for the new hotel nearly complete in the background. Below :
Below : Looking towards Talbot Square from the north side of the Promenade. The poles in view are street lighting only. The Town Hall and now nondescript exterior of the former Clifton Hotel (now the Ibis chain) facing the camera.
All images taken by John Woodman on 19 February 2019.