UPDATE: May 18
The final phase of works is continuing well. Drainage works are complete, the construction of the new traffic islands, installation of traffic signals and the reinstatement of the central reserve crossover points are nearly complete. Works are continuing to install new traffic signs, safety barriers and security fencing and laying footway areas.
The first in a series of overnight road closures on the Felling bypass gets underway on Tuesday 22 May. This will see the A184 closed in both directions at Heworth from 8.00pm Tuesday evening until 5.00am on Wednesday morning. The road will also be closed overnight on the following Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights (23 May to 26 May) and from Tuesday 29 May to Sunday 3 June.
The closures will allow for the completion of road surfacing, lane marking, the testing and commissioning of new traffic lights and the installation of traffic signal sensors in the road surface. This is slightly later than intended due to the non-availability of the surfacing contractor - our variable message signs previously indicated different dates for the road closures, but these have now been amended.
Traffic diversions will be clearly signposted and there will be a shuttle bus serving Hebburn and Jarrow from the A195 Shields Road when the Heworth Interchange is inaccessible. There will also be supervisory staff to ensure the pedestrian route through the subway is safe. Vehicular access to the Lakes Estate will be from the A185 westbound from Grange Road.
Once these works have been completed, the junction will re-open to normal traffic in early June.
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 six to seven 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 six to seven months during the repairs.
|Bus||Bus services 27 and 515 will still be running, though may be subject to short delays.|
|Metro||Metro services from Pelaw to Heworth will be unaffected and run to normal timetables.|
|Car||Shields Road is closed and all traffic will be diverted via Mill Lane/Leam Lane to Whitemare Pool.|
|Cycling||Cyclists can access Heworth Metro and Sunderland Road using the underpass from the long stay car park.|
|Walking||People on foot can access Heworth Metro and Sunderland Road using the underpass from the long stay car park.|
Why is the work 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.
Please see the image below showing a plan of the roundabout before and a plan depicting the final layout,.
How will it affect traffic
We expect the roadworks to cause significant congestion on mornings and evenings for six to seven 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.
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 routes 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'.