Work on a £26m Darlaston highways scheme is making significant inroads as a major section of the network reopened to traffic on Monday 29 February.
The opening of Bentley Road South from its junction close to the Black Country Route to the junction with Heath Road completes a series of works undertaken since 2013 to provide an upgraded access road to local communities and businesses.
Major enhancements to two bridges spanning both a canal and a railway and work to widen the road will deliver considerable improvement to the local road network as a result of the scheme.
The traffic lights at Heath Road and pedestrian access are the final stages to be completed along the stretch and will be undertaken during off peak hours.
Angus Watson, Contracts Manager for the Midlands office at Dawnus said: ‘’The opening of the second section of Bentley Road South signifies another major milestone for the Darlaston SDA project.
“Works have already been completed on Bentley Road South (over the railway bridge), the Darlaston Road / Pleck Road Junction and the conversion of the Bescot Wallows junction from traffic light controlled to a roundabout.
“The Dawnus team are immensely proud to have established strong links with Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council, other key stakeholders and the local community to deliver this project. This collaboration has been a major contributing factor in delivering this successful scheme.
“The next milestones to be achieved will be the completion of the Heath Road Junction and Bentley Mill Way which passes through a lowered road through the James Bridge Aqueduct’’.
Councillor Adrian Andrew, Deputy Leader said: "The improvements being completed to the roads in and around the Black Country Enterprise Zone which includes Darlaston will allow 40 hectares of land to be unlocked with the potential for thousands of jobs to be created which will have far reaching benefits for the economy of Walsall.”
The Darlaston Strategic Development Area Access Project has already delivered improved junctions on the route to M6 Junction 9, and this is the next stage in improving access to key Black Country Enterprise Zone sites.
Ray Nicklin of Allied Storage Tanks Ltd said of the road development “This road is going to be a huge plus for us and our business. These improvements make it a lot easier when our larger loads leave the works for delivery and from here it’s pretty much straight onto the M6.”
Operations Manager for Suttons Group Terry Wright said of the benefits: “The opening of the new link road adjacent to our depot will be a breath of fresh air and ease many of our daily delays as we join the M6.
“I see this major road artery as a key link to the whole area, one which will certainly benefit all road users. We welcome the opening of the road.”
The project has opened up opportunities for local businesses to bid for and win contract work across the sites, and has employed local people in a variety of roles. An added bonus as a result of the scheme has been the community benefits that have been derived from Dawnus Construction working with school and other groups.