Midland’s based Johnsons Design Partnership has revealed plans for a half-mile yellow brick road through Wolverhampton
The ‘old gold’ route, which will inevitably be compared to the magical trail in The Wizard of Oz, will provide a safe walking route from Molineux,home of the Wolverhampton Wanderers, to the train station. An iconic golden bridge crossing the ring road will be the centre point of the project.
Architect Vic Johnson said: ‘For too long Wolverhampton has been the butt of other people’s jokes, yet we have plenty to be proud of.’
‘Businesses here have made their mark on Britain’s history, whether it was making parts for the Spitfire in World War II or breaking the land-speed record with the Sunbeam. Today is no different, with parts being made for the Eurofighter and the city’s football team back in the big time.
‘Yet Wolverhampton still needs something to draw the visitors in. In the same way that Birmingham has Selfridges and London has the London Eye, this ‘old gold’ route will be a living, breathing, working landmark – as visible from the air as it will be on the ground.
‘Some people have already described it as our own yellow brick road and it’s definitely got the same magic about it.’
It is hoped that the illuminated route will provide a backdrop for countless city events, from parades to open-air events. The practice is even looking at ways in which he bridge can generate it’s own electricity.
‘This is an amazing opportunity for the city and the technology is there for us to use,’ he added. ‘Everyone we have spoken to so far seems really fired up to make this happen.’
The project has sparked interest with the City Council, with leader Neville Patten saying he thought the project is a ‘brilliant idea.’
Feasability studies are currently under way, and Vic and his team will present their study to the council in spring 2010.