Watch – Perry Barr flyover reduced to rubble after 50 years of service

Watch – Perry Barr flyover reduced to rubble after 50 years of service

It stood for 50 years but the landmark Perry Barr flyover is disappearing at breakneck speed this weekend.

Video and pictures show the structure used by millions of commuters on the A34 since 1970 being demolished today, Saturday, February 6.

It will all be gone by dawn on Monday.

Work began to remove the flyover at 8pm last night, Friday, February 5.

The scene this morning, when dawn tried to break through heavy mist, looked and sounded apocalyptic.



Road to nowhere – Perry Barr flyover is demolished

From a distance, the grinding noises sounded like something out of Jurassic Park.

Once in view, the area felt like the beginning of a Terminator film about the ‘rise of the machines’.

For an extra spooky touch, the thick mist made ongoing work to build what would have been the Athletes Village on the other side of the road, look as if it could have been a demolition site, too.

The main concrete chewer which had torn down the half of the structure on the city side was at rest, next to steel reinforcements from the surviving half of the flyover which had been left spiralling in to the air for the first time for more than half a century.

Meanwhile other heavy plant was in full swing scooping up the concrete or other remnants of the road that has become part of the area’s folklore having been opened in early December 1970 – 50 years and two months ago.

Engineers said the heavy rain last night had actually been a good thing in terms of minimising the amount of dust.



After 50 years the Perry Barr flyover is going after a controversial decision by Birmingham City Council
After 50 years the Perry Barr flyover is going after a controversial decision by Birmingham City Council

But even so you could still taste concrete in the misty morning air as a giant dumper truck kept returning for more scoops of broken concrete.

The work is being done in one weekend, choreographed at an impressively-rapid speed after years of meticulous planning to work out how best to transform the area.

Not everybody has been happy to see the flyover go – but a local legal challenge was dismissed by a judge.

One woman who came to see the end of the flyover herself this morning, but who did not want to give her name, said she wished it could have stayed.

“It had been here for the whole of my life and gets you straight past the One Stop Shopping Centre,” she said.

Hiten Patel, who was on traffic management duty to let buses go from the One Stop Shopping Centre go through barriers, said other vehicles were being directed away from the area via Handsworth.

“Or once in the area northbound traffic would have to go all the way round the centre’s giant car park in order to continue towards Walsall.”

The Perry Barr flyover is being demolished as part of a regeneration scheme for the area which will see more than £500 million invested and 5,000 new homes created.

The flyover would have been demolished whether or not Birmingham had won the Commonwealth Games, which is due to be centred at the nearby Alexander Stadium from July 2022.

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