From Monday 17 October the eastbound section of European Way, between Pallion Industrial Estate and Pallion Junction, will be closed as works continue to prepare for Sunderland’s new bridge.
Traffic will be diverted along St Luke’s Road and Meldon Road during the closure.
The westbound lane of European Way will remain open, and Pallion Subway will be accessible to traffic heading both north and southbound. Four-way traffic lights will remain in operation at the crossroads at Pallion Junction, with the traffic light set up adjusted to ensure traffic can leave the car park at Pallion Retail Park.
The latest phase of roadworks will be in place until February, with a break over the Christmas holidays, to enable utility diversions to continue. Smaller scale works will continue further into 2017.
Throughout all of the works, local shops and businesses, including those at Pallion Retail Park, Pallion High Street, Pallion Quay and Pallion Industrial Estate, as well as Pallion Metro Station, will remain open as normal.
The roadworks are being carried out in preparation for the completion of Sunderland’s new bridge across the River Wear, which is on track to open in the spring of 2018. On completion, there will be a four-way junction with traffic lights, which will allow traffic to connect to the new bridge.
The New Wear Crossing will span the River Wear between Wessington Way in Castletown and European Way in Pallion and is the first bridge to be built over the river in the city for more than 40 years.
Part of the wider strategic transport plan to link the Port of Sunderland and city centre with the A19, it is expected to reduce congestion and journey times and help in the regeneration of land along the river and create up to 6,000 jobs.
Stephen McCaffrey, Project Director of FVB joint venture, formed by Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction to deliver the project on behalf of Sunderland City Council, said the team was progressing with the roadworks as quickly as possible.
“We have had to re-think the layout of the roadworks in the past week to ensure the safety of drivers and to keep traffic moving as smoothly as possible, and believe closing the eastbound lane of European Way is the most efficient way of completing this next phase of works,” said Stephen.
“We appreciate that roadworks are frustrating for motorists and local businesses, but we must complete the utility diversions and improvements in order for the road network to be ready for the bridge opening. We thank people for their patience so far and ask them to continue to bear with us during the next few months.”
Cllr Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said he believed the inconvenience of the roadworks would be worth it when the new bridge opened.
“The team is making good progress with the bridge, with preparations underway for the first section of bridge deck to be launched out over the river,” said Cllr Watson.
“A complex project of this size, which will ultimately make life easier for commuters and attract huge investment into Sunderland, does not happen overnight and with no disruption to the road network.
“However, we are about halfway through the project now and can really see the bridge develop, so we know it won’t be forever.”
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For more information, go to www.newwearcrossing.co.uk, or call 0800 223 0379.