I54 South Staffordshire £36m M54 slip road investment moves forward


i54 South Staffordshire £36m M54 slip road investment moves forward

A large excavator moved onto the site at around 6pm on Saturday and began tearing down the reinforced concrete structure which had been erected in the 1980s.

The motorway was closed overnight while workers carried out the operation and reopened at 10am yesterday.

Tonnes of rubble from the job will be crushed and reused as foundation material for further building works as part of the development.

The replacement Middle Lane bridge was installed across the motorway last year, featuring a wider span including a public footpath and access track.

The work forms part of a £36.7 million investment by Wolverhampton City Council and Staffordshire County Council to provide a new slip road from the M54.  This will give easy access to the i54 South Staffordshire business park.

The junction, which is on course to be completed by September this year, is thought to be a vital cog in the development which will help to bring thousands of new jobs to Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire.

The i54 South Staffordshire site is being funded by a partnership between Staffordshire County Council, South Staffordshire Council and Wolverhampton City Council, who between them have set a target for 6,000 people to be working at the 226-acre site by 2014. Manufacturing giant Jaguar Land Rover is creating 1,400 jobs at a £500m engine plant, and two firms have already commenced operations.

They are Moog, which manufactures flight control systems for civil and military aircraft, employing 400 skilled employees, and Eurofins, a leading scientific testing and analysis company, where 150 more people work.

It has also been announced that construction is under way on a 70,000 sq ft plot to build a unit for International Security Printers (ISP). The firm plans to move to the new premises from its home in Midland Road, Walsall, later this year.

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for economy and infrastructure Mark Winnington said: “The removal of the old access bridge is another milestone and shows the new junction is really taking shape.

“This month the Prime Minister visited the Jaguar Land Rover site which really demonstrates that i54 South Staffordshire is a prime location for business.

“Having a dedicated junction for the site has been one of the draws for leading businesses and so we’re pleased to see it developing. We’d again like to thank people for their patience while work is carried out on the junction.”