Construction work on the £36 million upgrade of Vauxhall Tube station, to increase capacity and make it step-free, is now at the half way mark.
This is the essential first phase of a major investment designed to support the growth and regeneration of the surrounding area.
The number of passengers using Vauxhall Underground station is set to increase by 40% over the next few years and in order to create extra space, the ticket hall is being reconfigured to enlarge it and increase the number of ticket gates, reducing congestion within the station. The Tube station has remained open during the work and will continue to do so.
The ticket hall, its subways and stairways will be completely refurbished and a lift will be installed between the ticket hall and platforms. This, combined with the existing lift from the bus station to the Tube ticket hall, will deliver step-free access to the Victoria line trains.
David Waboso, Capital Programmes Director, London Underground, said: `A lot of hard work has gone on behind the hoardings to modernise Vauxhall Underground station over the past year. Now it is half way complete with a new station control room, new equipment rooms and a lift shaft excavated.
`Vauxhall is a very busy Tube station, with about 21 million people using it annually, and it's set to get even busier. Not only are we making the station step-free, it will also give passengers more space and will make journeys through the station quicker and more pleasant. These works, along with other TfL investment in improving the local transport network, will play a key role in helping to support the regeneration of the area.
`Carrying out tunneling activities and other major works within this busy station, while keeping it fully in use, is no small achievement", said Ailie MacAdam, head of Bechtel's rail business. "We've enjoyed growing our partnership with our customer London Underground, building a diverse team together and we're looking forward to delivering this upgrade on time, within budget and to a level of quality that we can all be proud of.'
Around 30% of the engineers on this project from Bechtel and London Underground are female - compared to the national supply in the UK, which is about 6%.
A new station control room has been installed and a new electrical switch room, offices, staff mess room and staff toilets are just being finished on the north side of the ticket hall. While on the south side of the ticket hall, old rooms have been stripped out and the wall tiling has commenced as part of the refurbishment of the subways and stairs.
For the step-free access works, the new lift shaft, which is approximately 15 metres deep, has been excavated and the initial concrete lining for the shaft has been sprayed, while the lobby passageways from the lift to the platforms are being excavated.
Over the next year the south side of the ticket hall will be reconstructed with the installation of the new lift and replacement bus station lift, the realignment of the ticket gate line with additional gates and the complete refurbishment of the ticket hall and subways with new signage, CCTV, ceilings, floor and wall tiling.
Transport for London (TfL) is working to support a huge increase in jobs, businesses and homes in Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea, which is one of the Mayor's 33 key Opportunity Areas. Key projects include extending the Northern line, transforming the gyratory system, making major improvements for walking and cycling, and enhancing bus services.
The total project cost of the Vauxhall Tube station improvements has been reduced by more than £9 million from £45 million through working closely with contractor Bechtel.