A DISUSED railway bridge on the former South Staffordshire Railway line has been demolished to make way for Metro extension to Dudley and Brierley Hill.

The demolition of the bridge across Sedgley Road in Tipton marks the first major structure to be torn down for Metro works and has been hailed as a 'milestone' in the project.

The redundant railway bridge was removed by the construction team and a new structure will be built later next year as construction work gains pace.

Structural specialists are also working to assess and finalise details for the replacement of existing structures across Sandwell and Dudley.

The works involved the partial closure of the highway and footpath along Sedgley Road East but due to these works now being close to completion, the closure is expected to be lifted before the end of the six weeks holiday.

David Lea, structures discipline design lead at the Midland Metro Alliance, said: “The carefully planned, safe and efficient removal of the bridge deck and abutments at Sedgley Road marks an important milestone for the project, the first of many as we work to prepare the route for the new Metro extension.

"This has also been achieved with sustainability in mind as many of the materials recovered during the demolition will be recycled. The design team are hard at work finalising details for the replacement structure as well as for many others along the route.

"It is tremendously exciting to see years of design effort come to life on site, knowing that what is constructed now will be in place for years to come and provide generations with improved connectivity.”

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, added: “Infrastructure projects, such as the building of the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro route, are critical to our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic as they help to generate money for the local economy and secure and create local jobs for local people.

"Because of this I am determined we press ahead with the new metro line for the Black Country, and it is great to see another key milestone reached."