Express & Star

Landmark bridge to be removed this weekend for Black Country tram extension

Motorists will face traffic diversions for the removal a landmark Black Country bridge to make way for a tram extension project.

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The "Hanson's Mild Ale" bridge over the Birmingham New Road near Dudley

'Hanson's Mild Ale Bridge' which straddles the A4123 Birmingham New Road near Dudley, is to be dismantled to make way for a new structure as part of Phase One to construct the Wednesbury-Brierley Hill track.

From Friday to Monday the road and nearby footpaths will be closed for engineers to remove the deck starting mid-morning at the site close to the junction with Tipton Road.

The Midland Metro Alliance is carrying out the tram programme on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM).

It's website states: " This notice is to inform you about significant construction activity and a localised road/footpath closure taking place on Birmingham New Road as work in this area continues following earlier activity across the summer for Phase One of the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension continues.

"From Friday December 1 until Monday December 4 a small section of Birmingham New Road either side of the Hanson's bridge will close to vehicle and pedestrian traffic to enable the safe removal of the existing bridge deck.

"Vehicles and pedestrians travelling in the area during the period will be able to navigate the closure via a clearly signed diversion route and should plan ahead and allow extra time to compete their journeys.

"Ahead of the Metro opening to the public work will also take place next year to install a new structure which will involve further localised closures in the same area. We will communicate these in due course as they are agreed with local highways authorities."

The alliance apologised for any inconvenience that he work may cause and said staff were available to discuss any issues raised by the work. It also took to social media to remind the community of the latest development adding: "Just a few days to go until works begin on Birmingham New Road.

"There will be localised diversions in place near Hanson’s Bridge, please plan ahead as this could impact your journey."

The 'Hanson's Mild Ale' bridge over the Birmingham New Road near Dudley

The Wednesbury-Brierley Hill tram link was originally due to open in its entirety this year, but rising costs led to it being broken down into phases, with the first section, from Wednesbury to Dudley, due to open next year.

The Government is pumping £2.7 billion worth of investment into the region’s transport infrastructure after reducing the high speed HS2 train development.

The bridge is among three to carry huge advertising hoardings for the former Hanson's Brewery which had 170 pubs mainly in Dudley. The other bridges are in Parkfield Road, in Ettingshall, and in Stafford Road, in Wolverhampton.

Hanson's which was based in Dudley High Street High Street closed in 1991.