DRIVERS are expected to face months of disruption with a string of roadwork projects in and around Hartlepool.
Northern Power Grid is replacing half-a-mile of high-voltage cable on the A689 in Hartlepool, around the area of Queens Meadow Business Park.
The scheme is to improve the reliability of the power network and involves workmen drilling beneath the carriageway, meaning that the dual-carriageway will be down to one lane at times.
The work is not due to be completed until June 5.
A spokesman for Northern Power Grid said: “This work to replace ageing power cables is absolutely vital to improve the local power supply and ensure it is fit for the future.
“It’s a complex operation and our contractors are drilling beneath the carriageway to pull the new cables through to connect to nearby parts of the power network.
“They are doing one section at a time and will either be working on the carriageway or in areas nearby.
“The project will be completed as soon as possible with an end date currently June 5.”
He added: “We’d like to apologise to motorists for the inconvenience this work is causing and ask that they bear with us while this important operation continues.”
At the same time, the Highways Agency is undertaking work on the A19/A689 Wolviston Interchange to improve the merge of the A689 southbound entry slip and the A19.
Workmen are also widening the A689 west approach to the roundabout to Coal Lane, introducing traffic signal controls on all approaches and a new controlled puffin crossing on A689 Coal Lane to the east of Wolviston Services roundabout.
A temporary 30mph speed limit will be in effect on the A689 approaching and through the works, while off-peak lane closures will be in effect on weekdays.
Works on this project started on Tuesday, May 6, and is expected to last until late autumn, with temporary closures of the road needed later in the timetable. The scheme aims to help reduce daily congestion, reduce journey times for the travelling public and improve safety in the area.
As this work is starting though, another project which saw Tees Road, at Seaton Carew, Hartlepool, closed for a number of weeks, is about to be completed.
The Environment Agency, which was improving the flood defences around Greatham Creek after they flooded last winter, say workmen, plant machinery and temporary traffic signals will be off site by the beginning of next week. A spokesman said: “The work is finally complete and the teams are now just tidying up and finishing off.”