TRAFFIC chiefs say a £870,000 project updating, improving and re-shaping a key Sunderland junction is getting underway.
Work at the A690 Durham Road junction with the A19 is due to start from Monday 22 September.
Sunderland City Council say the work is programmed for various stages over four months to January 2015 with re-surfacing completed later in the spring during warmer weather conditions.
The junction sees more than 40,000 vehicles pass through it every weekday.
Funding has come from the council and the Government as part of a bigger £9million package of ongoing works linked to the A19.
Council leader Paul Watson said: “The work here at the Durham Road junction is part of this bigger picture of A19 improvements.
“All the works, including these on the A690 and A19 junction, are helping lay the ground for delivering our City Deal by improving our infrastructure, expanding our manufacturing base, creating jobs and increasing economic growth.
“The city council and its partners are looking to the long-term and investing in the future of the city and the wider North East region.”
The A690 work includes:
•Updating traffic signals with more efficient and lower voltage units;
•Improved traffic signal detection and improved connections to the Tyne and Wear Urban Traffic Control Centre that helps oversee nearly 200 junctions;
•Carriageway resurfacing and new road markings.
The scheme’s budget of £870,000 is made up of £620,000 from the Department for Transport and £250,000 from the City Council’s Local Transport Fund.
It is one of seven major schemes with a total cost of £9million helping traffic flows along the A19 corridor, its junctions and link roads.
Councillor Michael Mordey, cabinet member for City Services, added: “The A690 work is part of a bigger package tackling pinch-points, and improving both access and exits for vehicles crossing the city and the A19 economic corridor.”
The council said improvements are assisting with:
• Reducing traffic congestion and improving journey times on key routes;
• Opening up access to key employment sites within the North East Low Carbon Enterprise Zone and the Nissan plant;
• The development of a 100 hectare International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) to the north and west of the Nissan plant as part of the Sunderland and South Tyneside City Deal.
Other works include improvements to Sunderland’s pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.
The overall funding has been made available from Central Government with £5million from the Regional Growth Fund, £4.17million from the Local Pinch Point Fund, plus contributions from the city council amounting to £500,000.
The six other 2014/2015 schemes are:
Updated traffic signalling the A19 junction with the A183 Chester Road - works carried out by Sunderland City Council
The Highways Agency works to the A19/A1231 junctions. These comprise:
• Updated traffic signalling
• Widening the eastbound A1231 approach to the A19 to three lanes
Conversion of existing A19 junction with the A1290 to traffic signal control to improve the main north-south access route to Nissan and reduce existing queues of traffic on the A19 – works carried out by South Tyneside Council
Updated traffic signalling at the A1290 junction with Washington Road, improving staff and visitor access to the Nissan car manufacturing plant – works carried out by Sunderland City Council
A1290/Cherry Blossom Way
Conversion of existing A1290 junction with Cherry Blossom Way to traffic signal control improving the ease and safe use of access to and from the Nissan distribution depots and other local supply chains - works carried out by Sunderland City Council
Works improving the cycling network and connectivity between Nissan and the residential areas at Washington, Pattinson and North Sunderland. This includes off carriageway cycleways alongside the A1290, linking to Sulgrave Road roundabout and Albany Park, and Pattinson Road – works carried out by Sunderland City Council.