A LONG-running campaign to demolish a dangerous bridge on the Worcester to Birmingham canal at Alvechurch is on the verge of victory.
The bridge in question, over the ‘dead arm’ of the canal, was erected in 1985 when the southern section of the M42 was built.
Always intended to be temporary, it has since fallen into such a state of disrepair that it has been branded as a danger to walkers and boaters alike by both Alvechurch Parish Council and the Worcester-Birmingham & Droitwich Canals Society.
However attempts to get it removed, despite a new walkway being built across the canal, have until now fallen on deaf ears.
“It was only ever put up as a temporary measure while they built the motorway but has been left to go into a terrible state of disrepair,” said Tony Brannon of the Worcester-Birmingham & Droitwich Canals Society.
“There have been children seen climbing all over it but it is in such a state now that it is tilting over and falling in.”
The fire service has since blocked off access to the bridge but it is still in imminent danger of collapse.
Tony added for a long time it wasn’t known who was responsible for the bridge – the forerunner of Highways England or the old British Waterways, now the Canal & River Trust.
Now after pressurising the latter they have finally agreed to go ahead with the work, which is due to start on Monday, July 2, and could continue for four weeks.
“At one stage they were quoting a cost of £100,000 to demolish the bridge and saying the work would by done by 2021, well you can imagine what sort of state it would have been in by then,” said Tony.
The Canal & River Trust says the towpath will remain open as work will be carried out from above the steps on the offside, however, the woodland footpath will be closed during the work to allow heavy machinery access.