Warning over roadworks for Chase Line bridge revamp
Two busy roads will be closed as part of a five-month scheme to replace railway bridges.
Drivers and pedestrians have been warned of disruption near Hednesford and Great Wyrley train stations as the footbridges are removed in Landywood Lane and Stafford Lane.
The project will last for 22 weeks with the roads to be shut off when the bridges are taken down and replacements installed.
The work forms part of the £100 million electrification plan to upgrade the Chase Line between Rugeley, Hednesford, Cannock and Walsall and provide faster, quieter trains.
Work began in November 2013.
The project will reduce journey times to and from Birmingham by 15 minutes and address overcrowding on board by introducing more trains.
It will also free up diesel-run rolling stock and introduce higher capacity electric trains that will carry more passengers.
On a wider front, the more efficient service is expected to create 1,600 new jobs and generate an estimated £110m through regional economic benefits.
Work to remove the old bridges at Landywood Lane in Great Wyrley and Stafford Lane in Hednesford started this week. Both will be replaced by new structures.
During the works period, people will be diverted along a segregated walkway next to the road. The project is being carried out on behalf on Network Rail.
The road closures will be needed when the old bridge structures are removed and the new ones installed, said the rail company.
Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport Helen Fisher asked for patience during the closures.
She said: “The footbridge replacement is absolutely essential as the current bridges do not meet safety requirements for the electrified line.
“There will be traffic management on both road bridges while work is carried out so we would ask people to bear this in mind and allow extra travel time.
"The project teams are ensuring pedestrian access continues throughout. We’d like to thank people for their patience during this time.”
An increasing number of passengers use the Chase line each year and improvements are needed to accommodate this growth.
Network Rail has installed hundreds of bases along the route for overhead cabling infrastructure, revealing many had to be redesigned because of mines underneath.
The project involves the electrification of almost 32 miles of single-track, as well as the construction of foundations, structures and a contact system.
It will also extend station platforms to accommodate the new longer trains, which will be introduced after the electrification is complete.
It also involves a speed increase from the existing 45mph to 75mph.