The £6.8 million city north gateway scheme started in October 2017 to support job generation and business growth – ensuring highway capacity to support investment at local companies including i54, Wolverhampton Business Park, and the Junction 2 employment area.
As part of the scheme, several trees were removed from the central reservation area to make way for the required highway improvement works.
In partnership with the scheme contractor Eurovia, City of Wolverhampton Council has worked with a local artist to recycle the trees to create eye catching gateway features within the scheme.
Robot Cossey, talented Wolverhampton sculpture artist, has created 3 wolf sculptures which have been installed on the A449.
The 3 wolves have been created to mark the entrance to one of Wolverhampton’s key routes into the city, welcoming visitors to the City of Wolverhampton.
The wolves have been carved in 3 different action poses – one running, one leaping and one howling, measuring 1.5 metres tall and 2.4 metres long.
A competition has also gone out to local primary schools to name the sculptures.
Councillor Steve Evans, Cabinet Member for City Environment at City of Wolverhampton Council said: “Our highways improvements programme is making a big difference to the transport network in the City of Wolverhampton.
“It is vitally important our road network matches regeneration ambitions and supports businesses and jobs growth in the area.
“Recycling the trees to create the running wolves has been the icing on the cake in this project.
“They are a fantastic addition to the A449 and a great way to mark the completion of the successful scheme.”
Robot Cassey, who created the wolves, said: “I have been producing sculpture in and around the West Midlands for nearly 20 years.
“It has been a joy to work with Eurovia and City of Wolverhampton Council on this iconic public art project.
“I will always hold Wolverhampton very close to my heart as I studied at the University in the 1990s and continue to live locally.
“I am very proud to see my work being unveiled on one of Wolverhampton’s key routes to the city.
“I really do hope that members of the local community will enjoy the 3 wolves just as much as I have in creating them.”
Matthew Stubbings, Divisional Manager at Eurovia said: “Having worked in Wolverhampton for many years, everyone at Eurovia is delighted that we have been involved in the wolves project that will provide a warm welcome to motorists travelling on one of the key routes into the city."
In the run up to the unveiling, the wolves were screened by creative hoardings displaying artwork produced by inmates at HMP Oakwood, which will be auctioned to raise money for the mental health charity ‘Mind.’
The hoardings displayed wolf themed graphics including Little Red Riding Hood, a film noir werewolf, a wolf in moonlight, Teen Wolf dressed in a Wolverhampton Wanderers kit, Wile. E Coyote and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The hoardings were created as part of an outreach scheme through Eurovia to promote community engagement.
Matthew added: “As a business committed to putting something back into the local community, it was great to work alongside the team at HMP Oakwood who provided some fantastic artwork to brighten up the hoardings used in the run up to the grand unveiling.”