Motorists warned to get ready for Testo's closure as work begins to lift huge A19 flyover bridge in place
The route at Testo’s roundabout will be closed this weekend, from 8pm tonight, Friday, September 4, until 6am on Monday, September 7, in the first of three weekend closures to allow the work to be carried out.
It will see a 142-metre flyover constructed over the roundabout, allowing traffic to continue on the A19 without the need to negotiate the junction when the project is complete next summer.
Tonight will see the start of the work to lift the 1,393-tonne structure into place before it is then connected up to sliproads on the A184 Newcastle Road, helping to the take an increase in traffic using the interchange once the International Automotive Manufacturing Park (IAMP) is built next to Nissan, with improvements also on the way for the junction at Downhill Lane.
The flyover will made up of 25-paired girders, the largest 33 metres in length, with the heaviest pair to weigh-in at around 60 tonne, with a 1,000-tonne crane being drafted in do the work.
Highways England has said the closures are needed to ensure the work can be done safely, with the cross-sections to be lifted into place as the first horizontal parts of the structure.
The closure will be repeated from Friday, September 18, to Monday, September 21, and then Friday, September 25, to Sunday, September 27.
Diversions will be in place, with northbound traffic to use the A1231 Sunderland Highway, A195, A194(M) and A194 Leam Lane, and the reverse route will be available for southbound traffic.
There will be alternatives for non-motorway traffic.
Highways England project manager Liam Quirk said the bridge work was an “exciting new phase in the project” which has already seen supporting walls built ready to take the flyover.
He added: "I want to thank people for their patience while we carry out the work.”
For more on the project, which began in March last year, visit https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/a19-testos-junction-improvement/.