Groundbreaking ceremony for new “Healthcare Campus” urban railway station
The groundbreaking ceremony on 27 February saw construction work beginning on the new “Healthcare Campus” station on Universitätsstraße in Bochum.
The NRW government decided back in 2009 to erect the Healthcare Campus NRW in the Bochum “Campus West” site. Part of the basis for choosing this location was the City of Bochum‘s offer to build an additional “Healthcare Campus” stop on the U 35 campus route.
The new urban railway station is now situated on Universtitätsstraße between the stops at Markstraße and the Ruhr University. In this section Universitätsstraße runs along Max-Imdahl Straße and includes three bridges – two road bridges and one urban railway bridge.
The Civil Engineering Office is building the platform for the urban railway station between the tracks running along the middle of Universitätsstraße. This means the two bridges on this street can remain where they are although the existing urban railway bridge will have to be demolished and then reconstructed. The new “Healthcare Campus” station will have two entrances: the eastern end will lead to Max-Imdahl-Straße with the platform accessible by stairs and a lift for people with disabilities. The western end will be reached by a 130 meter sloping path from the Healthcare Campus and the BioMedical Science Park. This ramp ends in a well-lit pedestrian tunnel which passes under the Universitätsstraße. Stairs, a lift and an escalator will then take you from the end of the tunnel to the platform.
The City of Bochum held a competition for the design of the urban railway station. The aim was to create a station with a strong identity and a welcoming character while establishing yet another high quality component along the “University – City Centre” development axis. The winning team in the competition, Dietmar Riecks from Banz + Riecks architects and Christine Wolf from wbp landscape gardeners, picked up on the topic of health in a visual way. Riecks decided on a floating white roof with alternating solid and open structures, which remind us of DNA codes, allowing direct light through during the day as well as providing diffused artificial lighting at night. It will be lit up in the evenings and at night. The roof also extends over the complete railway station protecting passengers, escalators and lifts from the elements.
The Campus route U35 will continue to run during the construction period. The tracks between the stops at “Markstraße” and “Ruhr University” will be moved to the inside lanes in both directions along the Universitätsstraße. When the tracks have been laid on the road bridges the current urban railway bridge can be demolished and then reconstructed. During construction of the provisional tracks along this part of the Universitätsstraße there will only be one lane open in each direction for a period of about 2 months. The inside lanes in both directions are reserved for the Campus route U 35. Max-Imdahl-Straße will also be partly blocked for the construction of the new urban railway station but usually one lane will be open for both directions at the height of the bridge. However, the Civil Engineering Office will have to completely close this section of the road for some of the work.
All in all the construction of the new station will amount to about 14.6 million Euros. 85 percent of the construction costs will be funded by the VRR. The City of Bochum will cover 1.8 million Euros of the costs.
Work on the basic structure and on the tracks has already begun and can probably be finished by the summer of 2014. Completing the interior fittings will take about another year, so the urban railway station will be able to open for passengers in the summer of 2015.