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Norham Road Bridge to be reconstructed in phase three of Coast Road improvements

A project to replace Norham Road Bridge is about to get underway

An improved plan for the demolition and reconstruction of Norham Road Bridge will result in less traffic congestion, increased safety and the work being completed more quickly.

The new bridge forms the third phase of North Tyneside Council’s £7.2million A1058 Coast Road Improvement Scheme, with the first two phases – at Beach Road and at Billy Mill – on time and on budget.

It was originally proposed that the work would be carried out in two halves enabling one half of the bridge to remain open to vehicles.

This would have needed the introduction of four-way temporary traffic lights resulting in significant congestion along Norham Road and surrounding areas.

Instead the work will now be completed in one operation, with pedestrian and cyclist access maintained by retaining a footpath across the Coast Road. There will be no vehicle access to the bridge and consequently no traffic lights will be necessary.

The construction period will be around two months shorter and - because the method of delivery is simpler - there is less that could go wrong, making it safer for the public and the workforce.

If preparatory work goes as planned, the bridge is due to close to traffic during week commencing June 5 and the new bridge is set to open in Spring 2018.

Sisk Lagan, the joint venture organisation delivering Highways England’s A19/A1058 Silverlink junction improvement, will carry out the work.

Paul Hanson, Deputy Chief Executive, North Tyneside Council, said: “We know that drivers and public transport passengers want us to complete our road improvements as quickly as possible.

“Demolishing and reconstructing the bridge in one operation means a shorter construction period, less congestion - as no traffic signals are required - and the work will be delivered more safely.

“We understand the work will cause inconvenience to some residents and we’re grateful for their patience.”

Increased safety

Building the bridge in one operation is far simpler and safer than doing it in two phases - there is less that could go wrong.

While structural surveys showed that the bridge could operate on one half only, there remained a risk of the bridge failing when work began. As well as the safety issue, it would have led to delays while alternative plans were put in place to demolish and reconstruct the bridge in one operation.

 

Shorter construction period

Demolishing and rebuilding the bridge in a single operation reduces the duration of the project by around two months.

 

Reduced traffic congestion

The original plan – to demolish and rebuild each half of the bridge in turn – would have allowed traffic to continue using it, but under four-way traffic signals throughout. It soon became clear from our traffic modelling that this would create huge congestion issues – so the decision was made to replace the bridge in one operation.

The revised scheme, although still causing some delays and inconvenience, will allow better access to Norham Road for local residents – and better access to and from the shops and businesses in the immediate area.

As part of the revised scheme, the Norham Road and A1058 Coast Road slip road junctions will be altered so that priority will be given to through-traffic on the slip roads. This will allow unopposed turning from the slip roads onto Norham Road.

 

Diversion routes

Local drivers will know the alternative routes that best work for them to get to their destination, but these will be the signposted diversions:

From the north side of the Coast Road, traffic will head east to Billy Mill, turn right into Regent Terrace, around the Regency Gardens roundabout and back onto the Coast Road.

From the south side of the Coast Road, traffic will go left along the Coast Road to the A19/A1058 Silverlink roundabout and back on the Coast Road.

The additional time taken to follow these diversion will be shorter than the delay incurred if four-way lights were in operation at Norham Road Bridge.

In advance of the bridge’s closure there will be some overnight working in the area while cable ducts are installed for new street lighting and traffic signals.

This will need the introduction of temporary traffic signals and slip road closures, which would cause significant congestion during the daytime. Consequently, the work will be carried out overnight for six nights, from 8pm to 6am, starting on Tuesday, May 30.

For queries about the A1058 Coast Road Improvement Project, Tel: (0191) 643 6500 or email: roads@northtyneside.gov.uk To subscribe to a fortnightly e-bulletin, email roads@northtyneside.gov.uk and put ‘A1058’ as the subject of the email.