Silverlink road­works well on track for next year

The Chronicle - - News -

THE Silverlink road­works are ‘on track’ head­ing into 2018.

High­ways Eng­land have of­fered an up­date on the huge project on North Ty­ne­side.

A triple-decker junc­tion is be­ing cre­ated at the meet­ing of the A19 and the A1058 Coast Road.

Work­ers are cur­rently lay­ing foun­da­tions be­neath the round­about, a process called pil­ing.

Steven Cox, as­sis­tant project man­ager at High­ways Eng­land, said: “We’ve done about 60% of the pil­ing now.

“What we have put in the ground is the equiv­a­lent in length to about 58 foot­ball pitches.

“There’s still quite a bit of work to do, but now we’ve switched the traf­fic we can get in to do those ar­eas we couldn’t do be­fore.”

Driv­ers have faced 30mph speed lim­its and rush-hour con­ges­tion at Silverlink since Au­gust 2016 and there is still more than a year to go with work set to be com­pleted by March 2019.

Crews are work­ing on build­ing the new junc­tion from top down and bridge decks for the east­bound Coast Road and both A19 cross­ings are now in place.

Mr Cox said dig­ging out the cen­tral trough, which will see the A19 pass un­der­neath, is the ‘next big crit­i­cal phase’.

This means driv­ers will be able to travel along the A19 with­out hav­ing to queue at the junc­tion, which is cur­rently one of the busiest.

A round­about be­tween the two ma­jor routes, as well as the Silverlink Shop­ping Park, will form the cen­tral layer of the junc­tion.

There will also be two foot­bridges for pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists. The project will cost close to £75m in total.

Mr Cox added: “There’s been some ma­jor, ma­jor chal­lenges. One of which was we had to main­tain two lanes of open traf­fic dur­ing day­time hours.

“We could have done the scheme a lot quicker if we had been able to shut down the lanes. There’s ob­vi­ously a lot of con­straints around space too, the round­about it­self is quite a con­fined area.”

Overnight clo­sures will con­tinue around the junc­tion as works progress. The lat­est round sees the Silverlink and Holy­stone north­bound junc­tions shut be­tween 8pm and 6am un­til De­cem­ber 7. There will also be lane clo­sures in both di­rec­tions be­tween the How­den/Wallsend and Holy­stone junc­tions at the same hours un­til De­cem­ber 9.

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