The interchange is set to be the first in Europe with integrated hydropower generation.
The contract was awarded through the North West Construction Hub (NWCH) framework.
The project is being funded by the Department for Transport, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council. Final funding approval was granted by the government in February this year. It was one of 45 schemes competing for funding across the country.
The new facility will be built on Smith Street, next to the River Roch and the town centre’s new Metrolink stop, and, once operational next year, will become the first building of its kind in Europe to have integrated hydropower generation.
A hydroelectric turbine has already been installed next to the interchange site which converts energy from the river as it flows rapidly through a weir. The weight of the water turns the screw-shaped turbine, generating electricity. The turbine is driven by an Archimedes screw, which was supplied by Spaans Babcock, a specialist contractor with a local base in Heywood. There is also a fish pass that helps fish to swim upstream past the turbine to migrate and spawn.
The hydroelectric turbine produces up to 86,000kWh of electricity every year, which will help to reduce the interchange’s carbon footprint by more than 25%.
Cllr Andrew Fender, chair of the TfGM committee, said that the new station would be “a very striking gateway to Rochdale and a vast improvement for both passengers and bus operators”.