A HISTORIC 170-year-old canal bridge in Oldbury is to undergo essential safety work which is set to cause motorists misery.

For 20 weeks after July 22 Dudley Road and part of Dudley Road East will become one way as Sandwell Council attempt to keep the disruption to a minimum.

The Brades Hall Canal Bridge, which carries Dudley Road East over the Birmingham Canal, is thought to date from the 1830s and structural investigations show it needs to be strengthened to cope with modern traffic demands.

Councillor Maria Crompton, the council’s cabinet member for highways and environment, said: “These are essential safety works to strengthen the canal bridge and we have planned these to start in the summer holidays to help reduce disruption.

“We are talking with the local community and will also be putting up signs so everyone is ready for the start of the roadworks.”

She added: “Motorists – as well as Centro and other bus operators – will use the diversion routes we are setting up.

“We’re sorry for the inevitable disruption these works will cause but we have to carry out this project to make sure the bridge is safe for all road users.”

Sandwell Council highways chiefs will set up diversions to keep congestion and disruption to a minimum during the works.

They are also starting the work at the beginning of the school summer holidays when the roads are quieter.

The A457 Dudley Road/Dudley Road East will be closed in the Dudley/Tipton direction from its junction with Oldbury Ringway to its junction with Lower City Road. This will allow traffic to use the open lane travelling towards Oldbury.