Another bridge demolished as work on Brierley Hill Metro line continues

So far most of the work to construct the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill line of the West Midlands Metro has mainly consisted of demolition and so it is again with another bridge being removed in the latest sign of progress. The Tame Valley canal bridge was removed earlier this month – the fourth structure to be demolished in recent months.

A crane was delivered to the site on Monday 18th January with the work then taking a few days to complete. The canal had been closed to boat and towpath traffic to allow the works to take place bit will be reopened in the coming weeks.

This is the second canal bridge to be demolished so far – the other being a structure on the Walsall Canal last year – with the Old Main Line Canal bridge in Tipton to follow later this year. Work on that final bridge will commence in February.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “It is brilliant to see that despite the pandemic we are able to press ahead with the construction of the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension. Not only is the extension the biggest light rail project in the UK, but it is also a creator of local jobs and driver of our regional economy at such a challenging time. The Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension will be a huge connectivity boost for the people of Dudley and Sandwell, and it also forms a key part of my wider plans for public transport across the West Midlands after decades of under investment. I am delighted we have reached another milestone on the extension and want to say a huge thank you to all the staff who have helped make this happen despite the pandemic.”

This extension is due to open in 2023 and will run for 11km leaving the current West Midlands Metro network at Wednesbury and travelling through to Brierley Hill via Sandwell and Dudley.

Hamish Falconer, Assistant Delivery Manager at the Midland Metro Alliance, said: “This removal is part of a package of work which will eventually see three canal bridges replaced with stronger bridge decks. The 500-tonne crane was with us for one day to separately lift the existing steel structures spanning the canal, each weighing 33 tonnes. Following the removal of the old deck, the remaining structure will be cut to its new height, brick work cleaned and repaired ready to receive the new stronger replacement structure later this spring.”

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