UPDATE: Wednesday 8 November 2017
Ancillary works on the Felling bypass between Whitemere Pool and Heworth roundabout are proceeding well and to schedule. We are working 7 days a week in a bid to get these works completed as quickly as we can and at the moment we remain on target to have the work finished by 21 December.
If we get a spell of very bad weather or some other enforced delay then this might hold back the work a little, but at the moment everything seems to be progressing as planned.
Motorists will have seen the road works change slightly as the inside lane re-opens and the outside lane closes. This is to allow our crews to begin work within the central reservation.
We are still awaiting approval from Network Rail for the essential maintenance works at Heworth Roundabout, but expect to have this soon. We won’t be able to give a precise date for the start of work here until we have that approval, but it will not be before the end of the year. We still anticipate work to begin at Heworth Roundabout early in the New Year.
Major roadworks are about to get underway at Heworth Roundabout. This is to repair the concrete bridges which the roundabout sits on. The work will involve removing the road surface and applying a new waterproof membrane. We expect the work to last six months, starting in the New Year. We will confirm a more precise date in due course.
This means Shields Road, the main road linking Pelaw and Bill Quay to Heworth Roundabout, could also be closed for up to six months during the repairs.
Road closure map
Plan your journey
||Bus services 27 and 515 will still be running, though may be subject to short delays.
||Metro services from Pelaw to Heworth will be unaffected and run to normal timetables.
||Shields Road is closed and all traffic will be diverted via Mill Lane/Leam Lane to Whitemare Pool.
||Cyclists can access Heworth Metro and Sunderland Road using the underpass from the long stay car park.
||People on foot can access Heworth Metro and Sunderland Road using the underpass from the long stay car park.
Plan your journey using the GoSmarter app
Download road closure map
Why the work is essential
The bridges over the railway line date from 1959 when the Felling Bypass opened. Time has taken its toll and the waterproof layer under the road has now failed. This means rainwater is leaking into the concrete structure of the bridges.
If left unchecked, this will cause major structural damage. The steel rods within the concrete will become wet and start to rust and expand. This expansion will crack and shatter the concrete from the inside.
This damage would be difficult, expensive and time-consuming to put right. In the worst case, it could lead to the complete replacement of the bridges.
As part of the works, we will also be removing the central roundabout at this crossing. This is because it is already light controlled and therefore no longer required.
How it will affect traffic
We expect the roadworks to cause significant congestion on mornings and evenings for approximately six months. Due to the surface removal, we will need to restrict traffic to a single carriageway. This will affect traffic in both directions throughout the works. Whenever possible, we will keep two lanes.
The following roads are expected be closed to all vehicles (except buses):
- A185 Shields Road between Heworth Roundabout and the Maiden Over public house
- The link road from Sunderland Road to Heworth roundabout, except access to the church
- The Kirkstone Road bridge, to prevent motorists from rat-running through a residential estate
Residents of Pelaw wishing to access the Felling Bypass by car will need to use B1306 Mill Road and A194 Leam Lane to gain access at Whitemare Pool.
Work on the roundabout is expected to start in January 2018, but we will confirm that when we have approval from Network Rail.
How it will affect public transport
The roadworks will not affect Metro and rail services, which will run to their normal timetables. You can find more information on timetables on the Nexus website.
We will be allowing buses only to run along the A185 Shields Road in Pelaw through the road works. This means services will still be running, but subject to minor delays. The bus lane on the Felling bypass between Lingey Lane and Heworth Metro will also be operating as normal. This means bus services throughout the Heworth area should be largely unaffected.
For more help planning your journey, you can visit Nexus, Traveline or Go North East.
Cyclists can access Heworth Metro and the Sunderland Road area using the underpass from the long stay car park. Alternatively, the Keelman Way will be open throughout the roadworks and can be accessed via Low Heworth Lane. You can find more information on cycle route on the Go Smarter website.
Why we have to close Shields Road
Although we'd like to, it may not be possible to keep Shields Road open.
Computer modelling suggests it may cause serious congestion across the region. If we allow traffic out of Shields Road it could:
- interrupt traffic flows on the Felling Bypass
- back traffic up as far as the Sunderland border and well into Newcastle during peak times
Closing Shields Road would simplify the construction work, meaning we could finish the work more quickly and more safely.
Why we are doing this now
The bridges are in urgent need of attention and failure to act promptly could make future repair work more difficult, more expensive and it could take longer.
We could not have carried out this work earlier in the year as the government grant to undertake these works was only secured in the summer.
Advice for motorists
If possible, we advise you to:
- avoid the area
- alter your times of travel
- use public transport
The Metro system will be unaffected. Bus routes will only be subject to minor delays, as bus lanes will remain operational.
We are also maintaining access to the Heworth North long stay car park from the A185 Shields Road. The car park costs £2.30 per day and has an underpass leading to Heworth Interchange.
We will also be replacing crash barriers and lighting between Heworth and Whitemare Pool to improve safety for the travelling public.
Work will begin on October 10 with the intention of finishing before Christmas, weather permitting. Doing the work now should help us to maintain two lanes in each direction through the roundabout works, and thereby reduce congestion, though it’s unlikely we’ll be able to do so right throughout the works. Once again, we will be trying to complete this work quickly.
Your questions answered
For more information please refer to the 'Heworth Roundabout - Your Questions Answered' guide.