Roadworks will return to one of Sunderland's busiest routes next week, as work on the new Wear Crossing steps up a gear.
From Monday, the A1231 Wessington Way will be down to one lane eastbound, approaching the Sainsbury’s roundabout, and then parts of the road will be down to one lane in both directions between Queen Alexandra Bridge and the roundabout that connects Wessington Way with Colima Avenue for around a year from the middle of this month.
Other works will also be in place around both ends of the bridge's route.
Minor roadworks are already in place along Hylton Park Road and in Woodbine Terrace, Pallion, while the short section of Timber Beach Road that links Wessington Way with the main road through Sunderland Enterprise Park will close permanently from mid-February and the roundabout connecting European Way and Pallion New Road will see extensive upgrading works carried out from the spring.
Sunderland Enterprise Park and Pallion Retail Park will remain open as normal throughout the works.
The new bridge will cross the River Wear between Wessington Way in Castletown and European Way in Pallion.
City council leader Coun Paul Watson urged motorists to be patient and said the new bridge would be worth the wait: “2016 is going to be an exciting year as we begin to see the New Wear Crossing take shape in the city and the approach roads develop.
“While we appreciate that roadworks are frustrating for drivers, and may cause some delays, the long-term benefits will far outweigh the disruption during the coming months.”
Stephen McCaffrey is Project Director with FVB JV, the partnership set up by Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction to deliver the project: “Much of our activity so far has been preparation works to enable us to start construction of the approach roads and bridge itself," he said.
“However, in the next few weeks people will see more activity around Pallion and Wessington Way in Castletown, as the earthworks are undertaken on both sides of the riverbank for the approach roads, and the central cofferdam is developed in the river itself - where we will be able to work from to put the central pylon foundation in place.
“The project is going very well and we are on schedule to complete on time in 2018.”
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For more information, go to www.newwearcrossing.co.uk, or call 0800 223 0379.