A major highways improvement scheme on a route which links South Shields and Jarrow is about to move into its third phase.
The £8.1 million Arches project to alleviate congestion at the bottleneck junction of the A185 and A194 in South Shields, is running to schedule and will enter phase three next week.
The scheme involves changing both the Arches and Hobson Way roundabouts into signalised junctions and providing a new one-way link from Hobson Way to Jarrow Road.
During the next phase, Jarrow Road will be closed in both directions from the Arches up to the newly-constructed junction of Hobson Way and Jarrow Road.
Hobson Way will be opened up between Newcastle Road and Jarrow Road during phase three as a temporary diversion route.
Councillor Mark Walsh, South Tyneside Council's lead member for housing and transport, said: “We’re pleased to say that we continue to make excellent progress with the Arches scheme and it is running to schedule.
“We’re now moving into phase three, and as with previous phases the bulk of the work will take place during off-peak hours, ensuring minimal disruption for motorists.
“People will really notice the changes that have been made to the network now, as they will be temporarily diverted along the new Hobson Way extension.
This section of the road network has seen a significant increase in traffic flows since the opening of the second Tyne Tunnel.
Coun Walsh said: “This area has become a frustrating bottleneck for motorists and this project aims to relieve congestion and improve journey times.
“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.”
The changeover from phase two to three is due to take next week with phase three scheduled to last until January.
Outside peak times, people are advised to leave a little extra time for their journeys as there may be delays.
Motorists are also reminded that during these times, they should continue to use both lanes until they are required to merge.
Coun Walsh added: “Drivers should observe signs and use both lanes before merging in turn.
“Queuing in just one lane before it is necessary causes additional congestion.”
The project, is being delivered by leading construction company and South Tyneside Council Framework Partner Galliford Try.
Galliford Try’s highways operations director Steve Tomkins said: ‘We’re delighted to deliver another important scheme for South Tyneside Council.
“Having a local team means we know the region very well and have a strong local supply chain.”
The scheme has also involved major earthworks, installation of a storm water retention tank, widening the verges, water mains diversion and drainage installation.
The scheme received £7 million 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.