In Pictures: Hansons Bridge is coming down

Further progress on the West Midlands Metro extension to Dudley and then Brierley Hill has been seen at the start of December as work to install the last bridge of the first phase of the project entered a new stage – the removal of the old structure. The bridge – known locally as Hansons Bridge – is on Birmingham New Road and as with previous bridges on the route needs to be replaced by a more modern structure ahead of the laying of tracks.

A localised road and footpath closure was put in place from Friday 1st December with this expected to remain the case until the end of Monday 4th December. This will allow the safe removal of the old bridge. Its then planned that the new bridge will be installed at some point in 2024.

The Metro tracks which will be installed on the new bridge will carry trams from Wednesbury to Dudley when the first phase of the Brierley Hill opens to the public. Currently Midland Metro Alliance continue to say this will be in late 2024.

With work starting the road and footpath are clearly closed for obvious reasons.

An “action shot” as work is underway to carefully dismantle the bridge. (Photographs x 2 by Andy Walters, 1st December 2023)

Just a day later and the main part of the bridge has already been removed.

A wider angle view of the scene. (Photographs x2 by Andy Walters, 2nd December 2023)

This entry was posted in West Midlands Metro. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to In Pictures: Hansons Bridge is coming down

  1. Ginger Doctor says:

    Why 2024 to build next bridge,there are videos of bridges in Germany that are knocked down and replaced in 4 days.

  2. David says:

    Why does it need to be replaced? Is it too low? Is it another excuse to waste more money. If money was not wasted on phase 1 to Dudley, phase 2 to Brierley Hill would have a greater chance of being completed. Formerly, councils and government used the fact that bridges had been demolished as an excuse not to reopen closed lines but in this instance we have a bridge which is much stronger that anything which will replace it, still in place It baffles me.

    • Steve Hyde says:

      An old bridge like the one in the photos may well have a very short residual life and the condition will not be obvious to a layman. Old railway bridges often suffer severe corrosion at the ends of the beams where water ingress combined with contamination attacks the steel. It may look strong but given that it is many years since it was last used it is likely that corrosion will have set in. It makes ense to renew the structure now with one that will have a long working life. As for your statement that the old bridge is far stronger than anything that will replace it, unless you are a practising structural engineer I fail to see how you can make such a statement.

  3. Ginger Doctor says:

    This is a video on YouTube of a overseas Bridge replaced in four days

    So why can’t we do it here.

    • Steve Hyde says:

      We can do similar renewals just as quickly over here and it’s not unusual for and a bridge carrying a railway over a road to be renewed over a single weekend possession. However there is a penalty for such speed in terms of cost which means unless it is really necessary to work so quickly the works will be undertaken over a longer period. With an old bridge like this one refurbishment of the abutments may well be required before the new structure can be installed.

  4. Nigel Pennick says:

    Splendid tradtional lettering on the ale advert – shame it has been destroyed now.

Comments are closed.