Great North Run: North East transport chiefs confirm Tyne Bridge repairs will not affect charity half marathon's route
Huge renovation works on the Tyne Bridge will not affect the route of the Great North Run.
Transport chiefs for Tyneside have been told the much-needed refurbishment of the landmark crossing should have “minimal” impact on the famous half marathon, despite a grim assessment of the bridge’s condition.
Earlier this month it was revealed major maintenance on the crossing could take up to four years, after inspections found disrepair worse than feared.
Two of the bridge’s four lanes of traffic will have to be closed for the duration of the works, prompting concerns about years of congestion.
But officials say there will be no need to reroute the Great North Run while the repairs are carried out, with a “worst case” scenario being a slightly narrower road than usual.
Asked at a meeting of the Newcastle and Gateshead Joint Bridges Committee what impact the long-awaited refurbishment would have on the Great North Run, Newcastle City Council principal engineer Alistair Swan said: “We are trying to phase the work so that there is minimal impact on the Great North Run.
“Because we will have barriers on the carriageway, we will be able to pull those back and maximise the carriageway available.
“I think the worst case scenario is we may lose one footway for pedestrians during the event, but there will always be at least one open.
“You may lose a little bit of width on the carriageway, but the majority of the carriageway will be available.”
He added: “We have regular discussions with the Great Run Company about the phasing and programming of the works.”
A detailed inspection of the bridge has confirmed issues including:
*Damage to road surfaces and pavements
A funding package of £41.4 million to repair the Tyne Bridge and Central Motorway was agreed this summer.
But the current inflation crisis means some of the motorway works could now be delayed or even abandoned to divert cash to the increasingly expensive bridge restoration.
Engineers estimate it will take between 36 – 42 months to complete the massive refurbishment job, the first major maintenance on the Tyne Bridge for more than two decades, the start date for which has been pushed back to autumn 2023.