A major project to reduce congestion by creating the North East’s first triple-decker junction in North Tyneside has reached a key milestone.
The £75million Highways England scheme to lower the A19 under the A1058 Coast Road and Coast Road roundabout is now 70 per cent complete, with less than a year to go on site, and work has started to build the new underpass.
Since work started in June 2016, three new bridges have been constructed – one to support the A1058 Coast Road over the Coast Road roundabout and two to carry the Coast Road roundabout over the newly lowered A19.
Highways England assistant project manager, Steven Cox, said: “We are nearly three quarters complete now, with the main bulk of the work digging out the 80,000 cubic metres of soil as the last major milestone.
“Drivers who use this junction regularly will already be able to see progress as the earth is removed to create the third layer of the junction, which will mean drivers will be able to continue straight along the A19 underneath the roundabout.
“The final supports for the A1058 westbound bridge were lifted into place a few days ago and we have started the foundation work on the pedestrian and cycle bridges.
“This is a busy junction used by more than 80,000 drivers every day and we have produced a video to show the incredible transformation that has already taken place.”
To support the new structures, more than 580 piles have been installed that end-to-end will cover seven miles – the same distance to make a return journey through the Tyne Tunnel to Silverlink – and two miles of new drainage.
The 80,000 cubic metres of soil being removed, which is enough to fill 32 Olympic-sized swimming pools, is being used to help form the embankments on the nearby A19 Testos scheme.
Over the remaining 10 months, improvements will be carried out to the 1,175 metres of cycleway and an extra 247 metres will be created.
In addition, the gantries for improved signage will be installed and the roundabout completely resurfaced.
The scheme, which is being delivered by a Sisk-Lagan joint venture, is supporting the Year of the Engineering campaign that aims to inspire young people to consider engineering as a rewarding career.
The A19 Coast Road scheme employs six graduates or apprentices and 60 per cent of its workforce is from the North East.