Motorists warned over road closure for work on New Wear Crossing

Artist's impression of the new Wear Crossing
Artist's impression of the new Wear Crossing
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One of Sunderland's busiest roads will be partly shut next weekend, for work on the New Wear Crossing.

A section of the eastbound A1231 Wessington Way is being closed from Castletown Way to Northern Way for essential drainage and central reservation works for the new bridge.

Stephen McCaffrey

Stephen McCaffrey

The road is expected to close at 9pm on Saturday, February 11, and re-open in the early hours of Monday. There will be no impact on Monday morning’s rush hour traffic.

All eastbound traffic will be diverted via Colima Avenue and Timber Beach Road, through Sunderland Enterprise Park onto Alexandra Avenue and Camden Street Gyratory.

During this closure, a secondary diversion will be in place to maintain access to Sainsbury’s. This will be via Dene Road and Castletown Way.

The westbound stretch of the A1231 Wessington Way will remain open throughout as per the current arrangement.

The ongoing contraflow and associated roadworks taking place on Wessington Way in connection with the new bridge will continue until summer 2017.

Northern Powergrid is also undertaking works along Castletown Way and North Hylton Road during February as part of the construction works. These began on Wednesday and are expected to last until around the end of the month.

Mark Jackson, Head of Infrastructure and Transport at Sunderland City Council, said: "The new bridge gives us an opportunity to improve not just the road network in Sunderland, but also make some improvements to the utilities network.

"We’d like to thank everyone for their patience and for driving safely through the ongoing works around the new bridge."

Stephen McCaffrey, Project Director of FVB joint venture, which is building the bridge, said: "By starting late at night on the Saturday and working through the night, these weekend works have been timed to minimise the impact on businesses, commuters and residents."

The roadworks are being carried out in preparation for the completion of Sunderland’s new bridge across the River Wear, which is on track to open in the spring of 2018.

The New Wear Crossing will span the River Wear between Wessington Way in Castletown and European Way in Pallion and is the first bridge to be built over the river in the city for more than 40 years.

Part of the wider strategic transport plan to link the Port of Sunderland and city centre with the A19, it is expected to reduce congestion and journey times and help in the regeneration of land along the river and the creation of up to 6,000 jobs.