South Shields roadworks mix-up causes delays
Council chiefs have admitted the completion of a road upgrade project – part of a multi-million-pound rejuvenation scheme – has been delayed due to a mix up over utilities data.
They say some historic ground features, which could include pipes and telecommunications cabling, did not show up on pre-works surveys on roads opposite South Shields town hall.
It led to final stage works - planned to finish in around February - only being expected to start this week.
These include paving in Charlotte Terrace, and road resurfacing in Crossgate and at bus stop in Westoe Road.
The works began in January 2018 as part of Phase Two of the South Shields 365 regeneration masterplan, whose core feature is a new bus and rail interchange in South Shields town centre.
That month, demolition began to the former PDQ Homes office, on the corner of Crossgate and Charlotte Terrace, causing some traffic delays.
In September, an expected 18 weeks of roads improvements in and around the same location got underway.
These included upgrades to the junction outside the town hall, and the installation of a bus lane on Crossgate.
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According to borough bus operators, the works led to delays for motorists of up to 20 minutes.
South Tyneside Council said its contractor, Bowmer and Kirkland, had contacted utility providers for details of existing apparatus prior to construction work starting, as is standard practice.
A spokesman added: “However, some utilities were not on the records provided and so were not discovered until work had already begun.
“The contractor could not have reasonably foreseen that they would be encountered. Orders were placed for the work to be carried out as soon as we became aware of the problem.
“We have been advised that the final utility diversion works are programmed to commence this week and, once completed, our contractors will be able to complete the paving works.”
The council also said the bus lane, which was completed in April but which is marked by signs as not being operational, would soon come into use.
He added: “With regards to the bus lane, the work was completed as part of the Crossgate phase but the lane will not be made live until the bus routes change when the new transport interchange opens later this year.”