Wolverhampton's Corn Hill will remain closed to traffic for up to a further 12 months in order for essential structural works to be carried out.

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The completion of the demolition of the former JN Miller Steam Mill in December cleared the way for further investigations that revealed the full extent of a void underneath the carriageway.

It is believed the void was previously used as an underground link between the Steam Mill and the former Sack store on the opposite side of the road.

Corn Hill will act as the main access route for vehicles to the new railway station as part of the city's new £120 million Interchange hub.

Work to double the number of parking spaces in the railway station car park to 900 starts this month.

The redevelopment will see a new car park, cycle and motorcycle park, and taxi rank built as an extension to the existing multi storey, and the creation of a brand new entrance.

The existing frontage on Railway Drive will be improved as an interim measure with the current red steelwork repainted, while the existing entrance and egress will be closed up.

The medium term ambition is to build a new hotel on the land between Railway Drive and the car park which would effectively wrap around the existing frontage, creating a completely new view and a modern looking gateway to the new railway station.

Once the car park phase is complete the redevelopment of the new state of the art railway station will then follow to make way for the metro line extension, which will include a new stop to link in with the station.

Councillor Peter Bilson, City of Wolverhampton Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Assets, said: "As with any project of this nature and magnitude issues like the one on Corn Hill raise their head.

"The demolition of such an old building like the former Steam Mill was always likely to present historical complexities.

"The key thing is the issue will be dealt with promptly and will ensure Wolverhampton Interchange plans remain on track."

Corn Hill has been closed since 2008 as part of the exclusion zone placed around the derelict Steam Mill, which was deemed unsafe following a fire.

The road will now remain closed between Mill Street Bridge and the Network Rail car park entrance until 25 January, 2017, or until the works are completed to make it safe, whichever comes first. The footway is expected to reopen by mid March, 2016.

  • released: Monday 11 January, 2016