A six-month roadworks scheme is starting at a traffic hotspot today.
The work at the Sheraton junction, where the A19 meets the A179, will get underway at 9.30am today, and run until the spring.
Traffic lights will be installed at the junction, which transport bosses say will reduce the amount of traffic queuing back onto the A19 from the slip roads.
There is also a proposed reduction of the speed limit across the junction to 40 miles per hour, to make it easier for drivers turning right at Sheraton junction.
Motorists who use the route have been advised to expect delays, despite the work being carried out at off-peak times when traffic is at its lightest.
All works are dependent on weather, but the first two phases of the scheme are expected to be carried out between 9.30am and 3pm, and last around four weeks each.
Durham County Council is carrying out the work. The council's strategic transport manager, Dave Wafer, said: "The Sheraton junction has been the scene of a number of serious accidents in recent years and we are pleased that Highways England has recognised the need for improvements and provided funding.
"The work we are doing will both make the junction safer and reduce queuing, allowing motorists shorter journey times.
“We have planned the scheme to minimise disruption including working at off-peak times where possible however we'd advise anyone using the junction to allow extra time for their journeys.
“We'd also like to thank people in advance for their patience and understanding should they experience any delays and finally remind them to exercise caution and care when driving through the roadworks."