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.
Graphic showing new roundabout
|August/summer 2018||Public information events|
|September 2019||Information event/mailout to residents and businesses|
|October 2019||Start of main construction|
|End of March 2021||New A69 open to traffic|
Why we need this scheme
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:
- create 18 miles of free-flowing dual carriageway between Newcastle and Hexham
- reduce congestion at the junctions
- improve access from the A69 and into Hexham
- make journey times more reliable
- support economic growth within the North of England
The scheme in detail
We'll make improvements to the A69/A6079 Bridge End and the A69/A68 Styford roundabouts as part of our package of improvements to relieve congestion.
We plan to turn the current junctions, which are traditional roundabout arrangements into grade-separated junctions (you‚Äôll 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 these junctions, allowing motorists a free-flowing journey.
At Styford junction the A69 will be built over the roundabout. At Bridge End junction the A69 will go underneath the roundabout. Our proposals will incorporate new bridges as well as upgrading the existing roundabouts where required.
We‚Äôll build both junctions at the same time but will start work on the Bridge End junction slightly earlier so that we can minimise waste by using leftover materials to construct Styford.
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