Work on the highly anticipated West Midlands Underground route will enter a new phase next week

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Castle Hill in Dudley town center

Construction along Castle Hill in Dudley town center will reach a major milestone on Monday when activity shifts to the opposite side of the busy thoroughfare, after lane-laying is complete.

The works are part of the Wednesbury Metro extension to Brierley Hill, which is being designed and built by the Midland Metro Alliance on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM).

One-way traffic will continue to be maintained towards Castlegate Island and all businesses in the area will remain accessible and open as usual.

Marilyn Grazette, TfWM program sponsor, said: “It is fantastic to be at this stage of the project where we are able to show the work that has been done so far, including the significant progress along Castle Hill. Businesses and fantastic city visitor offers close to where we work remain open as usual and would love to see you this summer.

Since work began in March 2020, a considerable amount of activity has taken place including utility upgrades and diversions, removal of existing road surface, creation of trackbeds in concrete, the installation of ducts for the integration of the system and a total of 350 meters of rail laid.

This work will be replicated when construction moves across the street in the coming days.

Meanwhile, at Sandwell, two purpose-built structures for a modern tram will be installed above Sedgley Road East and New Road after the aging structures are removed in the summer of 2020.

There will be a localized road closure on New Road between Jonah Drive and Bramah Way for nine weeks from July 16.

Bramah Way will become one way to Eagle Lane.

Vehicular access will remain for immediately adjacent properties and the alliance’s dedicated stakeholder liaison will speak with affected properties to answer any further questions.

Elsewhere in Tipton, in order for a second new bridge deck to be installed, another localized road closure will begin from July 26 on a section of Sedgley Road East where the road meets Park Lane West. The bridge will be installed and the road reopened in early September.

Tom Maplethorpe, Project Director at Midland Metro Alliance, said: “The work to install these new structures is another exciting step in this project.

‘We do however recognize that for those in the Tipton area the localized closures will cause slight disruption and we aim to limit this where possible.

Those traveling along affected areas during this time are advised to plan ahead and allow extra time for journeys.

Detours for pedestrians will also be in place and area bus services will be able to operate on modified routes.

Mark Corbin, Director of Network Resilience, at TfWM, said: “The shutdown will be in place throughout the summer and during this time delays are likely, so we ask people to consider travel to where they can – this is particularly important as we expect the roads and public transport to be busier during the games.”

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