RENOVATION work to the road bridge crossing the Metro line at Monkseaton station is nearing completion, say operator Nexus.
The major works to replace the crossing have now been finished after new sections were lifted into place during two recent consecutive 54-hour weekend Metro line closures.
Nexus say the scale of the operation made it impossible to keep the line open during the work.
The operator said the work, which has come in for criticism due to the length of time it has taken, was vital to ensure the bridge remains open to road users long into the future.
Motorists have had to endure four-way temporary traffic lights for months at a time.
The work is part of the £385m Metro all change modernisation programme, which will see the system transformed over the next 11 years with new look stations, refurbished trains and renewed Metro tracks and bridges.
Nexus said it has been a major project because Monkseaton bridge includes within its structure mains gas, electricity, water and telephone supplies for local homes, all of which have needed to be relocated.
A set of temporary traffic lights will remain in place on the bridge until March and once work on water mains is completed the bridge will be fully open to traffic and pedestrians.
Director of rail and infrastructure for Nexus, Ken Mackay, said: “We are a big step closer to completing what has been a major modernisation project at Monkseaton Metro station.
“The work on the bridge has been hugely complex.
“We have needed to renew sections to ensure it can remain open to traffic for many more years to come.
“We have also worked closely with utility companies to relocate water, gas, electricity and telephone cables within the bridge structure.
“This has created a substantial amount of work and I thank the public for their patience while the bridge has had the temporary traffic lights on.
“Further works are still needed in the coming weeks to complete the project fully, and Nexus is planning these in detail with utility companies and North Tyneside Council with a view to completion during March.”