Silverlink roadworks well on track for next year
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.