Wednesday and Thursday, December 2 & 3 saw the latest stage of the Hoobrook Link Road take shape, when one of Europe’s largest cranes lifted the new bridge beams into place.
Despite some strong winds and less than favourable weather conditions, the construction team were able to get four 75 tonne beams hoisted and lowered into position, in two separate lifts.
This milestone marks the latest development of the Hoobrook Link Road which consists of the construction of a bridge across the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal and River Stour. The Hoobrook Link Road is situated within the South Kidderminster Enterprise Park which is one of the County’s key employment sites, also known as ‘game changer sites’ and the work being done on the road will improve accessibility to this park and the surrounding areas.
The Hoobrook Link Road scheme will facilitate the regeneration of an existing industrial estate as well as relieving congestion on the existing transport network and releasing further economic growth within the wider Wyre Forest area. Existing traffic congestion is a barrier to economic growth in the immediate and wider Kidderminster area. The proposed link road will provide improved access, connect two key employment corridors, promote much needed economic growth and relieve traffic congestion.
The £16m Hoobrook Link Road connecting Stourport Road to Kidderminster Road is being funded by Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership through the Worcestershire Growth Deal alongside Worcestershire County Council, Department for Transport as well as the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and businesses in the area are welcoming the improvements.
Paul Hutchens, Managing Director of Eco2 Solar from Kidderminster, said: “The Hoobrook Link Road will have huge benefits for local businesses and those looking to locate here. We will see increased productivity, for example, through time saved for deliveries, staff and goods being moved.”
Peni Brudenell-Pryke, CEO of Greenenginering Limited which is also based in Kidderminster, said: “Businesses such as mine are pleased to see the Hoobrook Link Road taking shape with this latest piece of engineering and recognise the long term benefits it will bring to both local people and businesses in the area.”
Cllr Simon Geraghty, Deputy Leader with responsibility for economy, skills and infrastructure said: “The Hoobrook Link Road is a major part of the jigsaw in regenerating this part of Kidderminster, driving economic development and creating jobs. It’s an excellent example of how Local Councils and Local Enterprise Partnerships can work together to deliver real change and benefits.
“Investment is being made in development land, establishing infrastructure and developing skills to ensure Worcestershire is a world class place to do business and in recent years, Worcestershire had the third fastest growing economy in the UK. Four game changer sites have now been identified for development that are estimated to bring around 16,000 jobs and a £722million GVA and are now beginning to take shape”.
Gary Woodman, Executive Director of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Since the South Kidderminster Enterprise Park, which is adjacent to the Hoobrook Link Road, was established it has already seen 40,000 sq ft for new business premises created, and over £20m of inward investment. When complete, the Hoobrook Link road will ease congestion and provide access to this site providing the opportunity for more than 1000 further jobs on the site as well as additional investment in the surrounding area.”
Cllr John Smith, Cabinet Member for Highways added: “Completion of this route will relieve congestion on both Worcester Road and Stourport Road and generally help access around south Kidderminster. Getting these huge beams into place is a piece of precision engineering that has been carried out successfully despite difficult conditions”.