UPDATE: Friday 9 February
Works are progressing well despite last week’s poor weather. The work to remove the central reserve and splitter islands for the crossovers is now complete and the raised roundabout has been removed.
We have received enquiries about the closure of the left turn onto the A185 Shields Road. This is to allow safe working on the roundabout area but it is also in preparation for the contraflow to be moved onto the westbound carriageway. This move is to allow the bridge structure under the eastbound carriageway to be worked on, making a left fork into Pelaw impossible. In addition, work will also be taking place on this closed section of Shields Road to carry out improvements to the junction with Low Heworth Lane, including installing pedestrian crossing facilities, and this will further limit access.
Next week, work will continue on the installation of new drainage, traffic signal ducts and street lighting.
Essential repair work to the Heworth roundabout started on Sunday 28 January. This work 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 6 to 7 months. The first phase of works will see the A184 Felling Bypass either side of Heworth roundabout reduced to a single lane in each direction. However, the next two phases of work should see two lanes open to traffic in each direction which should minimise congestion. As well as lane closures, there will also be occasional full road closures at nights and weekends as required. Bus lanes will remain operational.
This means Shields Road, the main road linking Pelaw and Bill Quay to Heworth Roundabout, could also be closed for 6 to 7 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 6 to 7 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 will start on Sunday 28 January, 2018.
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 is not 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 will 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.
Your questions answered
For more information see 'Heworth Roundabout - your questions answered'.