Re-opening of busy Walsall road closed for two years delayed

The re-opening of a busy Walsall road after two years has been hit by delays, it emerged today.

Re-opening of busy Walsall road closed for two years delayed

Bentley Road South was closed to allow for works as part of the £26 million improvements being made in Darlaston.

It was initially expected the route would re-open again this month but it will now be in June.

The scheme in Bentley Road South includes the replacement of a rail bridge and forms part of the overall revamp of the highways network in the area.

A footpath and cycle path are also incorporated in the project along with the widening of the route.

Stuart Everton, programme manager for the project at Walsall Council, said: "Bentley Road South is due to open in June, this is due to the volume of work required at this location and it has not been possible to complete the works any earlier than this.

"This section will totally transform Bentley Road South and provide a safe environment for businesses and residents to gain access to the wider area.

"Work on the remainder of the scheme is currently to programme with some sites expected to be completed later this year."

A report to the council's business, employment and the local economy scrutiny panel last autumn had said Bentley Road South should be able to reopen in April.

Other work already being carried out as part of the £26m programme is the widening Bentley Mill Way, which will remain closed until later this year.

There will also be new traffic lights near to the James Bridge aqueduct to enable traffic to safely pass through.

The level of the road beneath the 200-year-old structure will be lowered to give more room for taller vehicles to pass through and to reduce the risk of them hitting and weakening the bridge.

Elsewhere, traffic signals will be added at the new junction between Darlaston Road and Bentley Mill Way. While a new roundabout is being installed at the junction of Bescot Road and Wallows Lane.

The multi-million pound scheme is being funded by Walsall Council, Centro and the Department for Transport.

It comes as the council is looking to regenerate the area and a property advisor has been appointed to find a developer partner for the Phoenix 10 site.

The 44-acre piece of land is located in Darlaston, next to the M6 and within the planned Black Country enterprise zone, and includes the former IMI Copper Works and adjoining council land formerly used as a waste tip.

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