A19 Testo's flyover already having an impact now work officially completed, says project boss
The new A19 flyover is already having an impact on reducing congestion at Testo’s Roundabout, according to Highways England bosses.
And already Highways England says drivers have already noticed how the improvement works are helping to ease congestion on the A19 as they no longer need to negotiate a junction and can instead continue uninterrupted.
Liam Quirk, project manager at Highways England for the A19 Testo’s scheme, said: “We have been able to improve journey time reliability, improve driver safety and make greater connections for walkers, equestrians and pedestrians.
"It is incredible for the region. You can see how much congestion has eased since the flyover opened.
"People using this junction for some time will immediately see the benefits that the flyover has brought.”
The Testo’s upgrade will give drivers better access to the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) development and Nissan plant in Sunderland.
"It's going to help not only with rush hour traffic but with shift changes at Nissan,” Mr Quirk continued.
"We see that those are the peaks where congestion is and with the flyover being open you can see how much that congestion has been relieved – 60% of the traffic that is approaching it now is continuing over the flyover.
"One of the key things that drove us to build this improvement was to increase jobs in the area and to offer that support to local stakeholders to help throughout."
But those involved with the scheme could never have predicted the impact the coronavirus pandemic would have during the course of the construction.
"We have really adapted very well to the pandemic,” Mr Quirk said.
"Nobody would have thought that we would have this to cope with when we began site construction but the supply chain has adapted fantastically – not only to keep the junction improvements continuing, but also to open early as well."
Drivers and pedestrians are said to have praised the Testo’s scheme but Highways England has asked for their patience just a little longer as works continue to create new link roads between the Downhill Lane and Testo’s.
"We have had incredible feedback from our users but also from pedestrians walking past who have been taking videos and picture updates throughout which has been really encouraging.” Mr Quirk said.
"There are some closures at Downhill that will encroach slightly into Testo’s, so we ask users for their patience throughout.
"It’s not easy building a project of this size and there will be some short term pain for some long term gain.
"We hope to have that open in summer next year.”