Bridge across A19 set for demolition
Drivers on one of the area’s major roads will see big changes this month as a 13-metre wide bridge is demolished.
The demolition of the bridge on the A19 is the first major milestone of Highways England’s £125m scheme to improve congestion and reduce journey times for drivers at Testo’s Roundabout.
The West House Bridleway Bridge will come down over the course of a weekend to create space to build the flyover that will carry the A19 over a new roundabout.
It represents a key moment in the two-and-a-half-year project, which will see the A19 raised above the existing Testo’s roundabout and new slip roads built to connect the roundabout to the A184.
Drivers travelling on the A19 will no longer need to negotiate a junction, and will instead continue uninterrupted.
To carry out the demolition, Highways England is closing the A19 between Testo’s and Lindisfarne roundabout from 8pm on Friday July 19 until 6am on Monday July 22.
Highways England project manager Tom Howard said: “The demolition of the bridge will create the room we need to deliver the ultimate objective of this major project, which is to build a flyover to carry the A19 over the new roundabout. This is the next important part of a process that will improve journey times and safety, reduce congestion and boost business.”
The scheme will not only lead to more free-flowing journeys but together with the nearby planned Downhill Lane project, will also improve access to the new £41m International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) and Nissan plant in Sunderland.
The IAMP is currently being built and is expected to create more than 7,000 jobs.
Access between Testo’s roundabout and Downhill Lane junction will be provided using new road links. These junctions regularly suffer from congestion, particularly at rush hour, so the major improvements are vital so the junctions will be able to cope with the extra volume of vehicles.
Work at Downhill Lane is due to start in autumn 2020, to support delivery of the second phase of IAMP.
These improvements will create more room on the junction between the A19 and A1290 in Sunderland, supporting plans for this leading manufacturing hub in the North East.