Major £70m upgrade of A19 on outskirts of Hartlepool looks set to be finished by autumn
Highways England construction workers have “pulled out all the stops” to ensure a major £70m upgrade for the A19 between Norton and Wynyard can open several months ahead of schedule.
The section between the A1027 and A689 junctions is being widened from two lanes to three and will be complete by the autumn.
Residents who live near the A689 Wynyard junction are also being promised a reduction in traffic noise because the existing concrete surface is being replaced by a quieter material.
Complaints over noise in the area led to the setting up of an action group, the A19 Noise Action Group, to call for mitigation measures as part of a long-running campaign which has spanned 20 years.
Engineering work on the project started almost a year ago and the extra space that is being created should ease congestion and delays for motorists.
An estimated 88,000 journeys were made everyday on the stretch of motorway, prior to the covid-19 pandemic.
Highways England project manager Keith Bradley said: “Our construction team have pulled out all the stops and have been able to accelerate progress over recent months.
“This now means that we can reduce the length of time needed to get the road fully open to traffic.
“We were programmed to finish next year around spring or summer, so we’re excited to announce that we now expect to complete by this autumn.”
The A19 Norton to Wynyard project is part of a £300m plus investment in upgrades along the length of the A19 to improve safety, cut congestion and boost access for drivers across the North East.
Over the coming weeks work will begin on the central reservation with the road being closed overnight in both directions and clearly signed diversion routes being put in place.
The next phase of the project will include installing a concrete central barrier, drainage, street lighting and road surfacing.
Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham, whose constituency covers Norton and Wynyard, said: “The progress being made on this scheme is fantastic.
“It will increase capacity on the road but, perhaps more importantly for local people, it will significantly reduce traffic noise.
“A lot of credit needs to go to the A19 Noise Action Group who have been campaigning for two decades to have the noise reduced on this stretch of road.
“Their hard work has paid off and I’m pleased to have been able to support them over the past ten years as an MP.”