Posted on Wednesday 4 October 2017
Roadworks on the Felling bypass between Whitemere Pool and Heworth roundabout are set to begin on Tuesday 10 October.
The work will reduce the dual carriageway to a single lane in each direction to allow crash barriers on the verge to be replaced and new lighting to be installed. Crash barriers will also be installed in the central reservation to protect against cross-over accidents.
These ancillary works are being carried out ahead of major structural repairs to Heworth roundabout for which a start date is now going to be early in the New Year.
Anneliese Hutchinson, service director for Development, Transport and Public Protection, says:
“There has been a lot of discussion around whether we begin these ancillary works before the main works on the roundabout begin. It’s been a complicated decision because starting these works early will create some peak-time congestion.
“We had originally intended to carry out these works while the main roundabout works were taking place to get all of the pain over with in one go. However, we’ve taken another look and we now think that by completing these works first we might be able to maintain two lanes in each direction for longer while the roundabout works are being carried out.
“This will obviously help to keep traffic moving through the roadworks site and reduce overall congestion on the bypass.
“We are still awaiting approval from Network Rail for the works at Heworth Roundabout to begin. Access across the roundabout to Shields Road and Sunderland Road will therefore be maintained until early in the New Year.
“We’ll be keeping drivers and residents advised in the weeks ahead and as soon as we have a confirmed start date we’ll be publicising this widely.”
Heworth roundabout, which is built on a series of bridges over the Network Rail and Metro lines beneath, will be the focus of major repair work after structural engineers detected water seeping into the bridge structures. If left unchecked, this water could cause serious and irreparable structural damage to the bridges.
Essential repair works will involve the complete removal of the road surface to allow the bridge decks to be waterproofed and a new road surface then applied. The work is currently expected to take up to six months to complete and will require the temporary closure of Shields Road to all traffic except buses.
Local residents and commuters are advised to seek alternative routes or alternative modes of travel while these essential works are completed. For further information, visit www.gateshead.gov.uk/heworthroundabout