Roadworks relating to the New Wear Crossing in Sunderland will get underway from next week as construction of the bridge steps up a gear.
The biggest impact of the traffic management measures, which include lane closures and reduced speed limits, is expected to be along the A1231 Wessington Way in Castletown from Monday, January 11.
Starting this month there will be roadworks along several routes in the city, which will allow construction workers to safely begin building the approach roads for the new bridge, namely:
• Minor roadworks along Hylton Park Road from 4 January
• A1231 Wessington Way – from 11 January it will be down to one lane eastbound approaching the Sainsbury’s roundabout, and then parts of the road will be down to one lane in both directions between the Queen Alexandra Bridge and the roundabout that connects Wessington Way with Colima Avenue for around 12 months from mid-January
• The short section of Timber Beach Road that links the A1231 Wessington Way with the main road through Sunderland Enterprise Park will close permanently from mid-February 2016
• Work to widen Woodbine Terrace in Pallion is underway
• The roundabout connecting European Way and Pallion New Road will see extensive upgrading works carried out from the spring
There will also be smaller elements of work taking place for shorter periods on roads close to the bridge site on the north and south side of the river.
Sunderland Enterprise Park and Pallion Retail Park will remain open as normal throughout the works.
The new bridge will cross the River Wear between Wessington Way in Castletown and European Way in Pallion.
It is the first bridge to be built over the Wear in the city for more than 40 years and is part of the wider strategic transport plan to link the Port of Sunderland and city centre to the A19 and A1. It will also attract new jobs and investment to Sunderland and help regenerate the area.
Councillor Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “2016 is going to be an exciting year as we begin to see the New Wear Crossing take shape in the city and the approach roads develop.
“While we appreciate that roadworks are frustrating for drivers, and may cause some delays, the long-term benefits will far outweigh the disruption during the coming months.”
Stephen McCaffrey is the Project Director with FVB JV, the partnership set up by Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction to deliver the project. He said: “Much of our activity so far has been preparation works to enable us to start construction of the approach roads and bridge itself.
“However, in the next few weeks people will see more activity around Pallion and Wessington Way in Castletown, as the earthworks are undertaken on both sides of the riverbank for the approach roads, and the central cofferdam is developed in the river itself – where we will be able to work from to put the central pylon foundation in place.
“The project is going very well and we are on schedule to complete on time in 2018.”
To sign up to receive regular updates on the New Wear Crossing, email email@example.com asking to be put on the distribution list.
For more information, go to www.newwearcrossing.co.uk, or call 0800 223 0379