Testo's Roundabout upgrade update as scheme reaches huge milestone after final sections of A19 flyover are lifted into position

A huge bridge which will carry tens of thousands of vehicles every day on the A19 is now in place as a £124.5 million upgrade of Testo's Roundabout.

By Fiona Thompson
Sunday, 27th September 2020, 10:56 am

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The beams of the 142-metre flyover in Boldon were made by Cleveland Bridge, the same firm which helped create the Wembley Stadium Arch, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Shard in London.

The final of three weekend closures is coming up this weekend, from 8pm on Friday, September 25 to 6am on Monday, September 27, when work will be carried out on the bearings and initial efforts begin to prepare it for when the road surface is laid early in the New Year.

A photo shared by Highways England following the work to lift the flyover beams into place.

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In the meantime, construction will start on drains and the embankments around the new 1,393-tonne structure.

Once the project is complete next summer, motorists will be able to continue on their A19 journey without negotiating the roundabout, with 83,400 vehicles predicted to use it every day by 2033.

It will also help manage traffic using the Internation Advanced Manufacturing Parl (IAMP) being built near Nissan, with works also planned for Downhill Lane.

Photos by Highways England show the bridge under construction at Testo's Roundabout.

Highways England project manager Liam Quirk said: “We have finished the big beam installation and that forms the core of the bridge and that went in on Sunday and that is a significant milestone for the project.

"We have been planning it for a long time and we spent some time finding a crane big enough – the one we have is one of four in the country – that has the mobility that we needed.

"We had to close off the road to be able to do the lion’s share of the installation over the road safely.

A large crane was brought in to carry out the work.

"Now there’s a real sense of achievement and pride for the team and we’re happy it has been something we have been able still do during the coronavirus pandemic, as we have continued to build while following measures.

"We must thank the drivers of the North East for their patience and there is going to be short-term pain due to the works, but we need closures in place to be able to get this construction done over the roundabout.”

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Liam Quirk is managing the project for Highways England.

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A photo taken by the team shows the upper section of the new flyover, with its road surface to be laid in the New Year.
A photo taken by the Highways England drone shows the work completed so far on the flyover.