03.04.19

North East’s first triple decker junction opens to drivers

Over 80,000 drivers a day are experiencing safer and smoother journeys across North Tyneside thanks to the opening of the North East’s first ever triple decker junction.

The £75 million Highways England Coast Road scheme has been opened on time and traffic is now able to use the new section of road. This means that drivers will no longer have to negotiate the roundabout and can continue straight on along the A19.  

This video shows how the scheme has transformed since work started in June 2016 A19 Coast Road_OFT_Media.mp4 The site in March 2019

Highways England project manager Julie Alexander said:

“This exciting engineering project to create the North East’s first triple decker junction will improve safety and journey times while supporting economic growth in the area.

“We have been on site for over 1,000 days, worked in excess of 1 million hours, and during that time over 80 million vehicles have used that junction. It has been fascinating to see this junction take shape and now thousands of drivers will benefit from quicker, smoother journeys.”

Roads Minister Jesse Norman said:

“The Government is investing record amounts to improve travel and transport for people up and down the country - including £13 billion on transport in the North.

“This new junction - the first of its kind in the North East - will reduce journey times for drivers and cut congestion, boosting the local economy.

“It also builds on other improvements in the region - such as the new Northern Spire Bridge and the remodelled St Mary’s Boulevard - where drivers are already seeing the benefits of investment.”

How the roundabout used to look in June 2016

James Keogh, senior project manager, John Sisk and Son, said:

“John Sisk and Son are very proud to have delivered the A19 /A1058 Coast Road junction improvement scheme on behalf of Highways England. It has been a very challenging project and will substantially reduce congestion in the area. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the stakeholders and local residents for their patience and support throughout the project.”

The overall improvements will translate into huge benefits for the economy.

Norma Redfearn CBE, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside, said she is delighted that the underpass is open to traffic.

“The A19 is extremely important to the regional economy and this improvement will have a number of major benefits for residents and businesses in both North Tyneside and the wider area, by reducing congestion and therefore supporting our efforts to improve air quality, improving road safety and helping to ensure we have a road network to attract investment and job growth to our borough.

“The new junction will also help alleviate some long-term traffic issues and vastly improve access to the Silverlink Retail Park and Cobalt Business Park, our largest employment site.”

This massive engineering project designed by WSP will have a lasting legacy on the landscape of the A19 in North Tyneside and also the community it serves:
• We have used 87,265 tonnes of stone, that’s the same weight as 2,240 Metro trains
• We could fill Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art four times with the amount of soil that has been removed from site (over 220,000 cubic metres)
• The amount of steel we have used would be the same weight as the Angel of the North 16 times (3,250 tonnes)
• The amount of concrete used on the scheme (16,800 cubic metres) could fill nearly seven Sunderland Aquatic Centre main swimming pools
• The whole junction has been resurfaced, the amount, 24,500 tonnes, would be the same weight as 2,042 double decker buses
• Over 580 concrete rotary piles have been installed to support the structures
• 55 concrete bridge beams weighing up to 76 tonnes and over 23 metres in length have created the base for the three new road bridges
• Two new pedestrian and cyclist bridges have been created
• 1,800 people have worked on site including six graduates or apprentices
• 27 school visits have taken place in the area, speaking to 6,444 schoolchildren
• Volunteers have built sheds and created outdoor play areas for local groups
•  260 tonnes of used road surface and 160 metres of anti-climb fence have been donated to local groups and businesses
• A time capsule has been buried on site and is due to be opened in 2118

There will be some overnight closures in the next month to complete the landscaping, traffic light and footpath work.

The upgrade is part of the government’s £15 billion roads investment strategy, which is transforming the road network and improving connections between cities.

It comes less than two weeks after a £125 million Highways England scheme to improve congestion and reduce journey times for driver on the A19 in South Tyneside got underway.

The major upgrade will see the A19 raised above the existing Testo’s roundabout and new slip roads built to connect Testo’s roundabout to the A184. This will create a free-flowing A19 as drivers will no longer need to negotiate a junction, and can instead continue uninterrupted.

Links to pictures
Infographic https://dmscdn.vuelio.co.uk/publicitem/1e382c34-7d44-414f-b9c0-3a860ea9b590
A19 Coast Road March 2019 https://dmscdn.vuelio.co.uk/publicitem/81613524-486b-4086-ab73-c5d3f9fb6ffe
A19 Coast Road June 2016 https://dmscdn.vuelio.co.uk/publicitem/9134488e-37e7-4336-9c2a-09c6c421be14