A stretch of road in Sunderland is set to be closed this weekend as part of the project to build the new bridge over the River Wear.
A 300m stretch of Timber Beach Road in Sunderland Enterprise Park will be closed to all vehicles on Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22.
Part of Timber Beach Road is being re-routed between the entrance to DW Fitness and the old RTC car park. During this closure, signed diversions will be in place taking traffic along Wessington Way to the relevant areas of Sunderland Enterprise Park.
Businesses on the enterprise park will be open as usual.
The main route through the enterprise park will then be fully open again from Monday, May 23 – four days ahead of England’s friendly football match against Australia at the Stadium of Light.
The weekend closure will allow the construction team to re-route part of Timber Beach Road to provide an ongoing traffic route through Sunderland Enterprise Park for the next 18 months, while the new bridge and approach roads are constructed.
Stephen McCaffrey, Project Director of FVB Joint Venture, which is building the new bridge, said the weekend closure was essential, but had been carefully planned to minimise disruption.
He said: “The re-routing of Timber Beach Road is part of the works to develop the New Wear Crossing, which are now well under way. As part of the plans, we need to carry out significant work in this area, so we have re-routed it to ensure motorists are not affected.”
Once the bridge is complete Timber Beach Road will go under the approach road to the bridge, providing a key link to both ends of Sunderland Enterprise Park.
The new bridge will cross the River Wear between Wessington Way in Castletown and European Way in Pallion and is on track to open in the spring of 2018.
It is the first bridge to be built over the Wear in Sunderland for more than 40 years and is part of the wider strategic transport plan to link the Port of Sunderland and city centre with the A19.
Sunderland City Council Leader Coun Paul Watson urged motorists to drive carefully, especially through roadworks.
He said: “A project of this size and complexity could not be completed without some impact to our road network, so while we appreciate that road closures and speed restrictions are frustrating, we ask people to be patient and to follow diversions and drive carefully.
“We have a great deal to look forward to in Sunderland – starting with the England match against Australia at the Stadium of Light on May 27.
“There will be lane closures and speed restrictions in Castletown and Pallion on that day, including along the A1231 Wessington Way, but we will be taking measures to ensure traffic flows as usual. As always, we would advise people to set off in plenty of time so they don’t face disappointment.”
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For more information, go to www.newwearcrossing.co.uk, or call 0800 223 0379.