More traffic hell for Hartlepool drivers when roadworks close junction

DIVERSION: The A19 at its northern junction to Elwick Village which will still be open
DIVERSION: The A19 at its northern junction to Elwick Village which will still be open

A WELL-USED route in and out of Hartlepool will be closed to traffic for several weeks to allow roadworks to be carried out.

A slip road onto the A19 from Elwick village and central crossing will be closed by the Highways Agency for up to seven weeks from the beginning of next month.

It is so that Hartlepool Borough Council can improve the road connecting the village with the A19 which has started to erode over the years.

Engineers in charge of the scheme say disruption to drivers should be minimal as a diversion will be put in place.

The work on Church Bank is due to start on Saturday, March 1.

Brendan Colarossi, of the council’s technical services department, said: “The scour off the stream in that area is undermining the road.

“At the moment there is a mixture of various repairs to the edge of the road to try to shore it up over the years including bits of wood.

“What we are going to do is excavate those out and put a concrete structure do is to put a concrete structure, in the form of a one metre high wall, to retain the roadside.

“We are at the stage where we have two options. One is to repair the road by putting in this retaining structure and the other is to make the road more narrow where we would have a single carriageway and priority system in place.

“At the moment there is a risk of vehicles falling in the ditch so there is also a safety feature to the work as well.”

All traffic going in and out of Elwick will be diverted along North Road and its northern slip road.

Mr Colarossi says the council hopes to complete the work within four to six weeks.

He added: “Church bank is not the best route to take out of town because it is quite a narrow road and North Road is probably a better access route.

“Hopefully the disruption caused as a result of the works will only be minimal. We intend to be in and out in four to six weeks.

“There will be some disruption, which is inevitable when you are doing any roadworks, but for the bulk of people there will be a perfectly good diversion route they can use.”

Access will be maintained for a small number of residents on Church Bank.