Work begins on A1 near Angel of the North ahead of major £220m upgrade to widen motorway by 2025
Work in preparation of a £220 million upgrade to widen a stretch of the busy A1 near the Angel of the North has begun.
Initial work is underway along the major route between junctions 65 (Birtley) and 67 (Coal House) which will pave the way for upgrade work to start in the summer – and is due to be complete by 2025.
The scheme will create additional capacity on the southbound carriageway to four lanes and three lanes to the northbound carriageway.
This investment will ultimately create more reliable journeys, improve safety and reduce congestion along the busy four-mile stretch.
CCTV cameras are already being installed before lanes will be narrowed to allow for works to begin.
Highways England Project Manager, Nicola Wilkes said: “This initial early work is important as we head towards major work starting later this year, which when complete will provide drivers with safer, smoother and more reliable journeys along this extremely vital route for the region.
“We’ve already started installing CCTV cameras in the verges and once this is complete we will begin to install narrower lanes. These are needed to provide the room for the work to take place. This will require ongoing overnight lane closures on the A1M, as well as some slip roads and roundabouts, to enable to the work to be carried out safely.
“Whilst we will keep disruption to a minimum for drivers using the route, we advise our customers to keep alert to changing traffic management and to allow extra time for journeys.
"We would also ask that customers drive appropriately for their safety, as well as that of our workforce. I’d like to thank everyone in advance for their co-operation. We’re excited to get this scheme under way.”
The project, which gained development consent by the Secretary of State for Transport in January, will provide wider beneficial economic impact for business users and freight.
The capacity increase will improve links to the Metrocentre and the Team Valley Employment Zone.
Set to be complete by 2025, the project will also see the construction of a new replacement Allerdene railway bridge, immediately south of the existing bridge, with the old Allerdene railway bridge being removed, as well as improving the Birtley, Eighton Lodge and Coal House junctions.