A major Sunderland route is to be closed off to traffic to allow a road to be resurfaced leading up to the new Wear crossing.
The A1231 Wessington Way between the Colima Avenue roundabout, near McDonald’s, and the Queen Alexandra Bridge gyratory will be closed to all traffic in both directions from 8pm until 6am each day this week.
The restrictions will be in place by contractors to allow resurfacing works as efforts continue to complete the work on the Northern Spire bridge.
Sunderland City Council has said daytime lane closures will also be enforced during this week on the road to allow its team to install new street lights and signs.
The overnight closures will begin tonight and are expected to be in place each night until Saturday morning, provided poor weather does not hamper progress.
A pedestrian route through the closure will be available at all times.
The resurfacing works are to be carried out overnight to minimise disruption, and to ensure all routes remain open during the busiest times of the day.
During the overnight closures, traffic will be diverted through Sunderland Enterprise Park – along Colima Avenue, Timber Beach Road, Hylton Park Road, Alexandra Avenue and Camden Street.
Drivers will be able to access Sainsbury’s supermarket from the east, along Dene Road, Castletown Road and Riverside Road, or from the west, along Northern Way, Dean Road, Bruntland Avenue and Riverside Road.
Works will also be taking place along the A1231 throughout this week as new 50mph speed limit signs are installed. The new, lower speed limit, which becomes operational on April 23 2018, is being introduced to increase capacity and ensure traffic moves efficiently along the route.
Whilst the overnight resurfacing works are being carried out on the A1231 Wessington Way this week, temporary traffic lights on nearby Timber Beach Road in Sunderland Enterprise Park will be removed each evening.
After the resurfacing works are complete, the temporary traffic lights on Timber Beach Road will be back in operation both during the day and in the evenings and will be in place for a further two to three weeks to enable final works to be carried out prior to the opening of the new bridge.
Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Harry Trueman, said: “Final works are needed on the A1231 before Northern Spire can be opened, so it makes sense for us to carry out these works during the night, when there is less traffic.
“We understand roadworks can be inconvenient for drivers, so we very much appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding. We are moving nearer to completion of Northern Spire and all of the associated roadworks that have been required to link the bridge in to the road network.
“We are all looking forward to the bridge opening later in the spring.”
Stephen McCaffrey, project director for Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction, which formed FVB joint venture to deliver the bridge project on behalf of Sunderland City Council, said the team was completing the final works on the bridge, such as surfacing works, painting, railings and landscaping.
He said: “We are a few weeks away from completing the bridge, and the final works on Wessington Way are necessary before we can open Northern Spire to traffic. We are grateful to everyone who has shown patience throughout all of the works.
“Everything we are doing now is dependent upon the weather, but we are on schedule to open later in spring.”