The roads around Pallion Junction in Sunderland are to be closed each night for three weeks to enable resurfacing work to be carried out as the major road improvement scheme nears completion.
A diversion will be put in place each evening from Monday, June 12 to Monday, July 3, in order to complete the new road, including the new surfacing and white lines.
From 9pm each week-night, Monday to Thursday, until 5.30am the following morning, the entrance to Woodbine Terrace, Pallion Subway, European Way (as far as Pallion Industrial Estate) and Pallion New Road (as far as the Gala Bingo) will be closed from Pallion Junction, with no through access. Work will start at 9.30pm on Friday nights.
Pedestrian and cyclist access will be maintained at all times to Pallion Metro station, which will remain open through the duration of the works.
Whilst weekend work is not planned, it may be necessary if progress is hampered by poor weather during the week, in which case, a Saturday and Sunday night closure will be imposed from 10.15pm to 5.30am.
The resurfacing work will bring an end to major roadworks in the area, which began in April last year in preparation for the opening of the New Wear Crossing.
The works will be carried out overnight to minimise disruption, and to ensure all routes remain open during the busiest times of the day.
Residential areas around Pallion Subway, such as in Merle Terrace and Ferndale Terrace, will still have access throughout the night time closures, but access will be via a diversion that will take people along the A1231 in the direction of the city centre, along Hylton Road, Ford Terrace, Pallion Road and to St Luke’s Terrace.
Once the works are complete in early July, the four-way temporary traffic lights, traffic cones, barriers and road closures will be removed from Pallion Junction and permanent traffic lights will be in operation. Beyond July, only minor disruption is envisaged, such as to carry out landscaping, prior to the scheme opening in spring 2018.
Sunderland City Council’s Leader, Cllr Paul Watson, said: “It’s great news that the roadworks around Pallion Junction are nearing completion and that the crossroads will be fully operational in a few weeks’ time.
“I appreciate they have been the cause of some frustration to both drivers and residents during the past year and I would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding, especially residents and businesses in the area.
“These works, while disruptive, have been necessary in order to link the New Wear Crossing into the current road network. The team is working hard on site and we’re making excellent progress, so the new bridge should be open to the public in less than a year. We can all then really begin to reap the benefits this bridge will bring to the Sunderland economy.”
Work got underway on the New Wear Crossing in May 2015. Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction, which formed FVB Joint Venture, are delivering the cable-stayed bridge and road improvement scheme on behalf of Sunderland City Council.
Project Director Stephen McCaffrey said the construction project, which is the biggest in the North East, was going well and was on target to complete on time.
He said: “Both the construction of the bridge and the associated road improvement programme have been complex and challenging at times, but we have worked closely with Sunderland City Council and our other partners to ensure disruption has been minimised and progress has continued in line with the programme.
“We appreciate the patience shown by drivers, residents and businesses who have experienced delays or inconvenience from the roadworks and ask them to continue to bear with us, and to drive carefully, as we finish these final works.”
The new bridge and road improvement programme is phase two of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor, which is a five-phase plan to improve links between the A19 and Sunderland City Centre and the Port of Sunderland.
It will help reduce congestion around the city, speed up journey time for motorists and will enable a huge area of land along the south side of the River Wear to be regenerated and developed. It will also help attract investment into the city, create jobs and breathe new life into the old industrial area of the riverbank that has become derelict over time.