With £72 million worth of funding announced for maintenance work in Birmingham, Quadrant Transport looks at how this will improve one of the city’s busiest roads.
Birmingham will benefit from £72 million of government funding for essential maintenance work on a vital road between the city centre and M6.
Due to start in 2022, the work sets to improve the Tame Valley Viaduct which sees over 80,000 vehicles a day.
The road, which forms the northern section of the Aston Expressway, is showing signs of deterioration since its opening in the 1970s.
With remaining funding coming from Birmingham City Council and the Local Growth Fund, the multimillion-pound project will ensure the link remains open for years to come.
The total project will cost over £93 million in repairs
Maintaining the link’s future will also support and uphold access to other initiatives in the region, including the Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone, HS2 Curzon Street rail station and the Food Hub in Witton.
Transport Minister Baroness Vere told Quadrant Transport: “This viaduct is the lifeblood of Birmingham, carrying tens of thousands of vehicles in and out of the city centre every single day and connecting it to the surrounding motorways and the rest of the country.
We recognise its importance and that’s why we’re investing such a significant amount of money to safeguard the future of the structure and keep local supply chains and public transport services running smoothly.
“This is further good news for the region following our Integrated Rail Plan, which will see quicker and easier journeys between Nottingham and Birmingham. We’ll continue to level up transport across the country, support local economies and build back better.”
The repairs are expected to take five years to complete
Improvements include major strengthening and refurbishment work on the viaduct to ensure it can continue to carry heavyweight vehicles, but it will remain open to traffic throughout.
Without the repairs, the viaduct is expected to need weight and width restrictions within a few years and, over time, the link could potentially face full closure.
Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council, told Quadrant Transport: “This is a significant investment into a key piece of our city’s highways infrastructure.
If we are to ensure people can move around the city as easily as possible and help businesses flourish, it is vital we carry out projects like this.
“This work will ensure the viaduct plays a key part in our transport network for many years to come and help prevent the need for even more significant works in future.”
There are also plans to apply a protective anti-corrosion paint system to the structure alongside other general refurbishments, preserving the longevity of the viaduct and minimising the need for future work.