Major roadworks will get underway on the south side of the river in Sunderland at the beginning of April.
Work will start in Pallion on Monday, April 4, when the traffic islands and the roundabout that connects Pallion New Road, European Way, Pallion Subway and Woodbine Terrace will be removed.
This will be followed by a single (southbound only) off-peak lane closure on Pallion Subway for three days and a four-week closure of a short section of European Way starting on Monday, April 18.
The section of European Way between Pallion Junction and the entrance to Pallion Industrial Estate will be shut in both directions to enable the construction team to replace a section of service diversions.
Signed diversions, via St Luke’s Road, will be in place for both of these closures.
Pedestrian access to facilities, such as shops and Pallion Metro Station, will be maintained and shops and businesses in the area will remain open as normal at all times.
The end result will be a four-way junction with traffic lights on the site of the current roundabout linking Woodbine Terrace, Pallion New Road, European Way and Pallion Subway. It will allow traffic to connect to the new bridge when it opens in the spring of 2018.
Councillor Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “When the new bridge and link roads open, it will significantly increase accessibility to the Pallion area, as well as other parts of the city. There will be a new, quick route from the A19 to the city centre and the Port of Sunderland that will give local residents and businesses access to new opportunities.”
Stephen McCaffrey, Project Director for FVB joint venture, created by Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction to build the bridge, said that the team acknowledged that delays for drivers could be frustrating, but that the work was essential.
He said: “The vast majority of the work and the closures will be scheduled for off-peak to minimise disruption wherever possible, but we do expect there will be some local delays in the area while work is underway.
“It’s important people realise that we’re not closing access to any local businesses throughout any of the works. We really value the support, understanding and patience shown by local businesses, residents and commuters across the city while we build this new bridge.”
The end of 2016 will mark a milestone in the development of the bridge when the impressive 105m A-frame pylon is floated from Belgium on a giant barge before being slowly hoisted into position on the river.
Twice as high as Nelson’s Column and taller than Big Ben’s clock tower, it will arrive into the Port of Sunderland and will then be slowly transported up the River Wear in a carefully planned phase of work.
The new bridge will cross the River Wear between Wessington Way in Castletown and European Way in Pallion.
It is the first bridge to be built over the Wear in Sunderland for more than 40 years.