THOUSANDS of drivers are facing delays as work begins to upgrade a busy A19 junction in Sunderland.
The works are for the A183 junction (Chester Road) with the A19, which is used by about 40,000 vehicles a day.
All the old traffic signalling cabling is being removed and more hi-tech equipment installed. This is programmed to take ten weeks.
The works are part of a wider £9million update of A19 link roads and junction updates (see PR attached from March 2014).
The A183 works are similar to those that have been completed at the A690 Durham Road and A19 junction.
•Removing old traffic signals and replacing with more energy efficient units;
•Advanced vehicle detection on all approaches for more traffic responsive signals;
•Cameras linking to the regional control centre allowing live traffic and journey monitoring;
•Improved road markings.
•Resurfacing and road markings are programmed in April and May 2015 for the A690, A183 and A1231 junctions with the A19.
Sunderland City Council said resurfacing works are taking place in the spring because temperatures and weather conditions are more suitable for maximising the working life of road surface materials.
The authority said they are also aligned to fit in with Highway Agency plans for A19 surfacing works.
The A183 scheme’s budget of £800,000 is made up of £550,000 from the Department for Transport and £250,000 from the City Council’s Local Transport Fund.
As part of the update, and in order to accelerate the works programme the council is looking to switch off all signalling during the early stages of works.
Traffic flows are being monitored while it operates as an unsignalised junction.
Councillor Michael Mordey, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for City Services, added: “This A183 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 would like to apologise in advance for any delays experienced and also thank all drivers for their patience as these necessary works are completed.”