A41 Bilston Road: End in sight for roadworks hell with route to reopen ahead of schedule
Roadworks on the Bilston Road are due to finish earlier than planned – giving businesses some respite in the run-up to the festive period, it has been confirmed.
The works on the busy stretch have been ongoing since June and caused months of misery for firms, with two even forced to shut down altogether.
However, Transport for West Midlands bosses have today confirmed work will finish by December 2 – more than two weeks ahead of schedule.
On that day the A41 Bilston Road will be reopened to traffic in both directions to and from Wolverhampton.
National Express, the operator of Midland Metro, will then carry out tests on the track without passengers on board.
Chiefs said that 'subject to these being successful' the tram service to Wolverhampton St George’s will resume on Sunday, December 10.
Paul Brown, project director for Midland Metro Alliance, said: “Our team on the Bilston Road track replacement project have pulled out all the stops to allow the road to reopen in both directions and the tram to return to passenger service.
"As well as replacing the tram track during the project, we have also resurfaced the road, which will mean a much improved environment for both tram and road users.
"We thank the people of Wolverhampton for their patience during these works.”
Despite complaints firms were told last month they will not receive a penny in compensation and instead will be helped with 'marketing and promotion.'
The engineering project has seen more than 100 people employed, while more than 175,000 working hours were recorded during the scheme.
The works involved 'breaking out' 2.7km of the road and existing track, before replacement drainage systems and concrete base to support the tracks and road could be built.
Replacement rails were then laid and welded into place after which the remaining concrete and road surface installed and the traffic and tram signalling reinstated.
Council leader Roger Lawrence said: “The reopening of Bilston Road, and the forthcoming return of trams to the city in time for Christmas, is great news for Wolverhampton.
"We thank the Midland Metro Alliance for safely completing this important work ahead of schedule.
"Wolverhampton council recognise that the works have caused disruption at times and we thank everyone affected for their patience.”