A69 junction improvements

We’re improving the A69 Bridge End junction to reduce congestion and improve journey times and safety for all users. We are building a new stretch of the A69 under the current roundabout and constructing two new bridges across the A69 to form the junction.

Start date Autumn 2019
End date Spring 2021
Cost £30 million

Latest updates

  • 12 May 2021

    New milestone as bridge decks lifted into place

    We have reached a pivotal moment in the major upgrade to A69 Bridge End improvements.

    A fascinating time lapse videoshows the remarkable progress made.


    The scheme will improve safety, reduce congestion, support economic growth and enhance access from the A69 into the town.

    Locals and commuters can now get their first glimpse of the bridge decks, which vehicles will drive over, after they were lifted into their final position ahead of this summer’s opening.

    The next few months will focus on street lighting, signs, kerbs, road surfacing, new fencing, barriers on slip roads, the roundabout and the A69 itself.

    From Monday, May 17, the eastbound carriageway of the A69 will be closed at Hexham for seven nights to enable resurfacing work on the Bridge End roundabout. Traffic will be diverted along the A6079 to Low Brunton, the B6318 Military Road and the A68 to rejoin the A69 at Stagshaw.

    Since work got underway last year the team have achieved over 140,000 safe working hours and provided continuous employment since the start of the pandemic, with no staff furloughed, and strict measures in place to protect their health. Around 80% of workforce are from the North East, half of which are from north of Tyne, and Highways England has also supported the region by using local suppliers and firms.

    After this summer’s opening to traffic landscaping and planting will be carried out, with all traffic management removed by the autumn.

  • 15 February 2021

    A69 Bridge End, Hexham – supporting local industries and workers

    What have we done so far?

    Despite the wild weather and the need to work differently due to Covid, work continues to progress well at Bridge End.

    Since starting on site in January 2020 we have achieved 140,000 safe working hours, with an average of 80% of workforce from the North East, 50% of which are from north of Tyne. We’re proud to have provided continuous employment throughout Covid with no staff furloughed or laid off and strict processes in place to protect their health.

    We’ve worked with local haulier firms and other local suppliers, keeping more of the North East in work and sourcing materials from local companies. For example, the bridge beams have been manufactured by Cleveland Bridge based in Darlington.

    We’ve removed 200,000 tonnes of muck to create the excavation 11 metres below the old roundabout where the new A69 will run.

    Stone work for this new road is 75% complete with 20,000 tonnes of quarried stone brought in from Barrasford.

    We’ve been getting our concrete locally too - so far, the plant at Acomb has mixed 3,500 tonnes of concrete for the bridge supports.

    So what’s next?

    We’ve been building the east and west bridge walls which will be complete by the end of February 2021. At the same time we’ve been constructing the bridge decks (the bit that vehicles will drive over) which will be jacked into their final position on the supporting walls by the end of March 2021.

    By the end of April 2021, the east retaining wall will also be complete. A retaining wall is a wall that’s used to support soil and earth when building a new structure like a bridge.

    From March until July we’ll be focussing on:

    • street lighting
    • signs
    • kerbs
    • road surfacing
    • new fencing
    • barriers on slip roads, the roundabout and the A69 itself

    This will mean we’ll be able to open the roundabout and the A69 to traffic in July 2021.

    Once that’s happened we will still have some work to complete. This will include landscaping and planting, before all the traffic management is removed this autumn.

    And for our local community…

    We always try to be the best neighbours we can so when St Oswin’s Church in Wylam asked the community for help we were happy to oblige.

    Reverend Tom Birch explained: “We needed to provide bird and bat boxes as part of our plans to expand and improve the Church Hall. An appeal for help put out on a local Facebook page was answered by an employee of Highways England who lives in Wylam.

    “The team working at A69 Bridge End in Hexham kindly made these for us, and we’re very grateful for their help.

    "I rejoice in such happy collaborations which result in good things for both the community and the environment.”

    Reverend Tom Birch

  • 04 December 2020

    December 2020 update

    Progress so far

    We have completed removing all the earth needed to clear the space for the new A69 carriageway. This work faced some unexpected surprises – with extra soft ground in one place, a spring and more substantial bedrock deposits in others.

    We have now completed the foundations to the bridge and are building up the abutments from which will hold the two new bridges.

    We are installing some large drainage pipes to the east side of the project, this will hold back and store rainwater falling onto the new road then slowly release it into the river Tyne.

    In December we will start to construct the bridges. We are using new methods to do this which are safer for the workforce. It will also reduce the time of construction, and mean that high winds won’t stop work as much in the winter months.

    We’ll build each bridge deck just above the ground on temporary supports starting with the bridge beams and then building the concrete deck on top off the beams until it is 95% complete.

    We’ll then use an industrial jack to lift it off the ground up to a height where it can be lowered on to a self-propelled vehicle which will drive them into place. These lifts are scheduled for April 2021.

    We will need to do some work to tie in the ends of the new bridges to the abutments to hold the bridge deck in place and complete the new roundabout connections to open the junction. Once the roundabout is open we will remove the temporary turnarounds and open the junction and mainline for traffic. After that we will complete the work on the slip roads and finish off all the landscaping works.

    How are we working through Covid?

    We have worked on site all the way through the Covid restrictions. All our staff work socially distanced with temperature checks before entering work sites, offices or the canteen.

    We have reached the milestone of 100,000 working hours on this project and have between 45-50 workers on site every day.

    We are very pleased that finding safe ways to continue working means that we have not had to lay any staff off or place anyone on furlough. We are proud to be supporting the economy of the North East with the majority of our workforce and the companies we use for materials and vehicles being from the North of England.


    Health and Safety

    Interserve, one of our contractors on the project, has won a company health and safety award for their role in setting up a safe Covid working site. Their work on A69 Bridge End is one of only four Interserve schemes in the UK to be considered for the overall award for 2020.

    Considerate Constructors Excellence award

    The inspector commented: “Overall the site is operating to an excellent standard and the site team are to be congratulated on their positive and pragmatic approach to dealing with the constraints imposed by the pandemic and the methodology that has evolved with the techniques to address these.”

    Following a virtual inspection the Bridge End project was awarded an ‘Excellence in Construction’ certificate by Considerate Constructors.

  • 01 July 2020

    Projects reaches first major milestone

    Drivers using the A69 trans-Pennine route near Hexham are about to see big changes as the multi-million pound upgrade reaches its first major milestone.

    The roundabout scheme at Bridge End will reduce congestion for the thousands of drivers who use this key northern route every day. It will support economic growth, improve access from the A69 into Hexham and improve safety.

    From Sunday (5 July) drivers heading in to Hexham will be able to use the newly constructed temporary turnaround point on the eastern side of the roundabout.

    The western turnaround will open on 18 July for drivers leaving Hexham and wishing to travel east on the A69. The temporary turnarounds will mean drivers can continue to easily assess Hexham when the main roundabout is closed.

    Once both turnaround points are open, the roundabout will close for 12 months. This will allow work to take place on building the bridge supports for the new roundabout. Once complete this major upgrade will lower the A69 under the junction so drivers are able to continue along the route without having to use the roundabout.

    During the roundabout closure the pedestrian footpath on the east bridge will be closed with a diversion to the west via Hermitage overbridge.

  • 09 June 2020

    Preparing for phase 2 - new traffic management

    We have been progressing well on the improvements at A69 Bridge End roundabout whilst ensuring we adhere to Government advice about social distancing and safe working practices.

    We are now approaching phase 2, where we will start the process of switching traffic between lanes.

    To do this safely we will be holding the following full overnight closures (8pm to 6am).

    Westbound carriageway for switch at Hermitage Wall and surfacing works between Stagshaw and Acomb:

    • Monday 29 June
    • Tuesday 30 June
    • Wednesday 1 July
    • Thursday 2 July
    • Friday 3 July
    • Monday 6 July
    • Tuesday 7 July
    • Wednesday 8 July
    • Thursday 9 July

    Eastbound carriageway between Acomb and Stagshaw

    • Friday 3 July
    • Saturday 4 July

    Corbridge bypass / Stagshaw junction

    In addition, there will be some routine maintenance work resurfacing the eastbound carriageway on the Corbridge bypass / Stagshaw junction.

    This requires overnight closures (7pm – 5am) between Corchester Bridge to Milkwell Lane on Monday 22 June, Tuesday 23 June, Wednesday 24 June, Thursday 25 June.

    In all cases clearly signed diversions will be in place and access to Hexham will be retained at all times.

  • 09 March 2020

    Starting work on Styford roundabout

    We are continuing to establish our work area in the centre of the roundabout and have begun working on the construction of the turn-arounds and the mainline carriageway.

    new roundabout layout

    Until the turnarounds are completed and in operation the roundabout will remain open with some lane closures and speed restrictions on approach.

    Two lanes will be used to approach the roundabout from Newcastle, with one lane dedicated to turning into Hexham and the other for turning right or through-traffic. There will also be two lanes approaching the roundabout from Carlisle towards Hexham, with one dedicated to turning right towards Hexham and the other for through-traffic.

    We expect the turnarounds to be completed in summer 2020 when they will come into operation.

    Now work on Bridge End is under way we'll start to revisit plans for the Styford roundabout, presenting options we develop to the public for consultation in due course..

Project information


The A69 is an important route between Newcastle and Carlisle that helps connect Scotland and the Tyne and Wear. It provides an arterial link between the north east and north west of England that is heavily used by hauliers and commuters. 

However, the A69 between Hexham and Newcastle is a particularly busy section, and there are often delays at peak travel times, particularly at the Bridge End and Styford roundabouts. 

In recognition of the importance of this route, in 2016 we carried out the Northern Trans-Pennine Strategic Study which looked at how we could improve the A66 and A69, to increase trans-Pennine connectivity. 

As a result of this study, in March 2017 we announced a £220 million package of improvements as part of our congestion relief fund. This included two junction improvements along the A69, one at the A69/A6079 Bridge End roundabout and one at the A69/A68 Styford roundabout. 

These improvements will: 

  • improve access from the A69 and into Hexham 
  • make journey times more reliable 
  • support economic growth within the North of England 

We are changing the existing roundabout at Bridge End to a grade-separated junctions (you’ll have to go up or down a slip road to leave the A69). This means that traffic travelling along the A69 between Hexham and Newcastle will no longer have to stop at this junctions, allowing motorists a free-flowing journey. 


Traffic information

Information about scheduled roadworks and events on our motorways and major roads.

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