Motorists are reminded that a major highways improvement project will get underway in South Tyneside next week.
The £8.1 million scheme will aim to alleviate congestion at the bottleneck junction of the A185 and A194 – the Arches - in South Shields.
It will involve changing both the Arches and Hobson Way roundabouts into signalised junctions and providing a new one-way link from Hobson Way to Jarrow Road.
Motorists are being advised to leave extra time for their journeys once roadworks begin next Monday (January 29).
The scheme involves:
• Changing the Arches and Hobson Way/Elswick Way roundabouts into signalised junctions
• Providing a new one-way link from Hobson Way to Jarrow Road as well as converting the section of Jarrow Road to one-way between the extended Hobson Way and the A194
• Widening the A194 towards Hobson Way/Elswick Way junction to enable two right turning lanes onto Hobson Way
• New and improved pedestrian and cycle routes
Coun Allan West, Lead Member for Housing and Transport, said: “The network will remain fully operational in busy rush hour periods, with all existing lanes remaining open and minimal disruption.
“Outside these peak times, people are advised to leave a little extra time for their journeys as there may be delays.
“The project aims to relieve the bottleneck at the Arches, where the A194 meets with A185, which has seen a significant increase in traffic flows since the opening of the second Tyne Tunnel.
“There is significant development planned in South Tyneside over the next few years and more development will bring more traffic.
"The transport model we have used projects vehicle numbers to 2032. The improvements we are making now will help futureproof this strategic corridor, creating additional capacity and ensuring a smoother and quicker commute for those who use the route regularly.”
The first phase will involve removing both the Arches and Hobson Way roundabouts and the central reservation in between. All existing lanes will remain open during peak periods*. Outside these times, lane closures will be in place and drivers are advised there may be delays.
Coun West added: “Improving strategic transport links is a key part of the council’s economic vision. It’s vital that we have the right infrastructure in place to be able to support sustainable growth.”
Leading construction company Galliford Try is delivering the project on behalf of South Tyneside Council.
Bob Gibbon, Managing Director of Galliford Try's Highways business, said: "We're looking forward to making progress at the Arches following the success of the Lindisfarne roundabout project.
"We want to keep disruption to a minimum and, working closely with our client, will provide plenty of advanced notice of traffic management changes."
Roadside signs are now in place advising drivers of the forthcoming works, which are scheduled to last for 12 months.
The project received £7m from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as part of the North East Growth Deal from Government. The Local Growth Fund is supporting major capital investments to promote innovation, economic and skills infrastructure and sustainable transport across the North East LEP area.
For further information and plans please visit https://www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/58579/Arches-junction-improvements-A185-A194-