Busway bridge opens at Belfast Grand Central Station

A further major milestone has been delivered in the exciting Belfast Grand Central Station construction project with the opening of a new busway bridge today (14th August 2023).  

This impressive overbridge, is a key section of the new bus lane providing a direct, fast and efficient route for passengers using bus and coach services operating between the M1/Broadway Roundabout and initially the Europa Buscentre, ultimately serving Belfast Grand Central Station with its 26 bus stands once it is complete.

Designed by Arup and constructed by GRAHAM, the busway bridge deck weighs 480 tonnes alone with a span of 51 metres which will cross the realigned railway lines serving the new station.  It will also provide access to the bus engineering facilities on the site.

Philip Brown, Head of Major Projects, Translink, says around 400 bus services will travel across it on a daily basis when the new hub opens:

“This busway bridge is an integral part of the bus infrastructure planned for the world class Belfast Grand Central Station. Its development has been visible to anyone arriving into Belfast Great Victoria Street Station by train or using the Westlink over the past number of months and we are delighted to officially mark its opening and the return of this bus passenger priority lane through the site.

“From today, passengers will see around ten-minute reductions on journey times when travelling on services that use this direct bus lane and busway bridge to and from Europa Buscentre. We’d like to thank them for their patience and flexibility while we worked to complete this part of the construction programme.

“Its completion also enables wider station construction works to progress efficiently. I would also like to thank and congratulate the entire project and operations teams for their hard work to deliver this milestone and also acknowledge the Department for Infrastructure for their essential funding to deliver this project,” said Philip.

Andrew Henry, Contracts Director, GRAHAM, added: “We’re pleased to have safely and efficiently delivered this sustainable new busway bridge, which provides a gateway to the station, and paves the way for the next phase of the Belfast Grand Central Station project.
“Like our previous projects with Translink, it will have significant benefits for the region, improving connectivity, driving economic growth, and supporting carbon reduction efforts in Northern Ireland. At GRAHAM, we strive to deliver lasting impact, and are delighted that this scheme has also created job opportunities for new entrant trainees. Additionally, it has supported over 300 hours of apprenticeships and helped support local suppliers and businesses.
“Work on the wider transport hub is still underway, but it’s clear that this transformative project is already delivering real social value.”

Chris Caves, Director, Arup said: “With the opening of the Busway Bridge, the transformative impact of Translink’s wider scheme will begin to be experienced by those in and around Belfast.
“Expertly constructed by GRAHAM, the bridge’s design harnesses Arup’s global experience in innovative transportation and sustainable development projects The entirety of the structural steelwork uses weathering steel, optimising the bridge’s durability and sustainability by preventing corrosion, achieving both a design life of 120-years and reduced maintenance requirements.
“Arup is immensely proud to be to be at the heart of the project, supporting Translink to realise their regeneration and innovation ambitions in the delivery of Belfast Grand Central Station.”

Belfast Grand Central Station will be a significant catalyst for regeneration through reconnection, supporting economic growth, prosperity and NI’s climate ambitions. It will provide easy access to bus, coach, rail and active travel connections across the city and beyond, driving modal shift and ensuring people are better connected while helping NI achieve the carbon emission reduction targets set out in the NI Climate Change Act.

The world-class facility is set to be Ireland’s largest integrated transport hub and will be situated at the heart of the new Weavers Cross city neighbourhood bringing circa 1.3 million square feet of mixed-use space to a strategic location in the city. As the largest transport-led regeneration project in NI, it brings significant investment opportunities and is set to be a key economic driver for Belfast and for Northern Ireland.

Construction of Belfast Grand Central Station is expected to be completed in 2025.