Highways England (HE) has issued a progress report on a major £75m (US$96.7m) project that aims to create the Northeast’s first triple decker roundabout, which will relieve congestion on one of the region’s most congested routes.
The scheme in North Tyneside involves lowering the A19 underneath the Silverlink roundabout and A1058 Coast Road, and HE says that following the removal of 80,000 cubic meters of soil, the project is now 80% complete. The new road is expected to be used by 35,400 vehicles on average a day, and is expected to improve safety and reduce collisions.
The roundabout project has involved the realignment of the A19 under the existing A19 roundabout and the construction of slip roads to enable the A19/A1058 coast road junction to provide access to the junction to and from the lowered A19. Construction of three new single span structures has enabled the A1058 coast road and A19 roundabout to cross over the realigned A19, and the construction of retaining walls has minimized the amount of new land that the new layout uses.
Facilities for cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians have been retained or enhanced, the Middle Engine Lane railway bridge has been widened to accommodate the A19 north facing slip roads, and new infrastructure/street furniture has been installed, including central reservation concrete barriers, drainage, pavements, road lighting, traffic signals, traffic signs, road markings and CCTV systems. The scheme is on track to be completed by the end of March 2019.
Since work started in June 2016:
• 55 bridge beams, weighing 35 tonnes each at a length of 72ft (22m), have been transported from West Mead in Ireland and installed;
• Three new bridges have been constructed to carry the existing layout;
• 580 piles have been installed, which end to end will cover 7 miles (11.2km);
• 2 miles (3.2km) of new drainage has been put in;
• 80,000m³ of soil has been removed, enough to fill 32 Olympic-sized swimming pools, which will be used to create the embankment needed for the Testos roundabout scheme;
• 120 people work on-site each day, on average; and
• Two years have passed without a loss-time injury.
Before completion, improvements to the 3,855ft (1,175m) of cycleway and an extra 810ft (247m) will be created. The gantries for improved signage will be installed and the roundabout completely resurfaced.
“You can really see the junction starting to take shape with the three layers and it’s fantastic that we are now entering the final stages. Work to remove the 80,000m³ of soil has now been completed and this marks yet another major milestone on this vital scheme,” noted HE’s assistant project manager, Steven Cox.
“We have six months left on-site and we will be pulling out all the stops to ensure this scheme is completed on time. We still have some important work to complete such as the drainage, the pedestrian and cycle bridges, and resurfacing the entire junction, but providing the winter is kind to us, we should be on track.”
To view a flythrough of what the junction will look like once completed, click here.