Posted on Wednesday 24 January 2018
The A184 Felling bypass will be closed to all traffic at Heworth Roundabout this Sunday (28 January) from 6am as work starts on the long-awaited bridge repairs.
Work will begin at 6am and will involve coning off sections of the road to enable repair work to get underway.
Lengthy diversions will be in place throughout the day, but local access from the A184 to the Lakes Estate at Coniston and to Grange Road and High Lanes will be maintained throughout the day.
The road closure is temporary and will be removed once the traffic management has been installed. However, it will mean that the A184 either side of Heworth roundabout will then be reduced to a single lane in each direction, and delays to traffic are to be expected from Monday 29 January onwards.
Shields Road either side of the Heworth roundabout will also close on Sunday 28 January and will not re-open to traffic (except buses) until after the repair work is finished.
The roundabout, which is supported on a series of concrete bridges carrying the road over Network Rail and Metro lines, has been causing structural engineers serious concern after they detected water seeping into the bridge structures last year. If left unchecked, this water could cause serious and irreparable structural damage to the bridges.
The major risk is ‘spalling’ which occurs when water seeps into concrete and causes the steel reinforcing rods within the concrete to rust. The rusting process causes the rods to expand, cracking the concrete around them and severely reducing its structural strength.
Repair work 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 expected to take between six and seven months to complete.
Anneliese Hutchinson, service director for Development, Transport and Public Protection, says:
“We’ve worked hard to devise plans for this complicated repair job which will minimise disruption to the public, but this is an extremely busy and congested route and any repair is bound to cause some delay.
“We know this work will be especially inconvenient for residents of Pelaw and Bill Quay, but we’ve looked at all of the alternatives and all of them would have caused even greater congestion and taken longer to complete.
“On average, more than 42,000 cars use this route every day so it is inevitable that some motorists will experience delays while we carry out this repair work. We therefore urge motorists to explore the various travel alternatives or find a different route.
“We are fortunate that the area is well-served by public transport and we are retaining the bus lane along the Felling bypass, so we are urging people to plan their journey and use public transport wherever possible. Metro and train services should also be unaffected by these works.”
For more detailed information, please go to www.gateshead.gov.uk/heworthroundabout