Highways England (HE) has released details of a scheme that will see a busy trunk road junction in the UK’s northeast region turned into an unusual triple deck roundabout configuration.
HE will upgrade the A19/A1058 Coast Road junction in North Tyneside in the UK into a triple decker roundabout. HE’s contractors, the Sisk/Lagan Joint Venture, will be lowering the A19 beneath the existing A1058 Coast Road and roundabout in a cutting, providing a free flowing link that will reduce congestion and improve the reliability of people’s journeys. The £75m (US$100.5m) scheme is on the main route to and from the Tyne Tunnel and will mean that people travelling along the A19 will no longer have to queue at the roundabout to go straight on. Instead, drivers will be able to use a new section of road that will run under the existing junction.
The A19 provides access to the Port of Tyne and to the major employment sites of Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate, Silverlink Retail Park, Cobalt Business Park and those at South East Northumberland. The A1058 Coast Road is a strategic route linking the city of Newcastle Upon Tyne to the coast at Tynemouth. The Silverlink access, which serves the Silverlink Retail Park and adjoining areas, forms the fifth arm of the roundabout. The junction suffers peak time congestion, with delays of over four minutes per vehicle on the A19 southbound approach, and an accident rate higher than the national average, based on 2008-2012 figure.
The Sisk/Lagan JV will be constructing: two bridges to carry the roundabout traffic across the lowered A19; a replacement bridge to support the A1058 Coast Road across the junction; new slip roads to provide access to the junction to and from the lowered A19; and two footbridges across the A1058 for pedestrians and cyclists. Work on the project will start in the next few weeks, with the scheme due to be completed by March 2019.
The improvements, which are part of the UK government’s five-year £15bn (US$20.1bn) roads investment program, are designed to support opportunities and economic growth in the North East, as part of the Northern Powerhouse initiative. The scheme’s objectives are to:
reduce congestion, increase capacity and improve journey times; improve road safety for both road users and the local community; support regeneration in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland; reduce severance by maintaining or improving facilities for pedestrians and cyclists crossing and travelling along the route.
“Once complete, this scheme will improve journey times on the A19 by reducing congestion and improving safety for the thousands of drivers that use this junction each day, as well as cyclists and pedestrians,” said HE’s project manager, Julie Alexander. “The A19 is a vital strategic link providing access to the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate, Silverlink Retail Park, Cobalt Business Park and South East Northumberland.”