The £75 million Highways England scheme to lower the A19 under the A1058 Coast Road and Coast Road roundabout is now 70% complete with less than a year left on site.
Since work started in June 2016, 3 new bridges have been constructed, 1 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:
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. We are nearly three quarters complete now with the main bulk of the work digging out the 80,000 cubic meters 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.
To support the new structures more than 580 piles have been installed which end to end will cover 7-miles, the same distance to make a return journey through Tyne Tunnel to Silverlink, and 2 miles of new drainage.
Now around 80,000 cubic meters of soil, that’s enough to fill 32 Olympic sized swimming pools, is being removed and 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, the same length as Tyne Tunnel. The gantries for improved signage will be installed and the roundabout completely resurfaced.
The scheme is supporting the Year of the Engineering campaign, which aims to inspire young people to consider engineering as a rewarding career. The A19 Coast Road scheme employs 6 graduates or apprentices and 60% of its workforce is from the North East.
Being delivered by Sisk Lagan joint venture the scheme when finished will reduce congestion and improve journey time reliability for the thousands of drivers who use it every day.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.