The work on the bridge began this week, and once complete, will make sure that the bridge is fit for purpose for the coming years, with both repairs and strengthening to steelwork for the Wellington Street railway bridge.
The bridge was originally built in 1902 and the work will also see a section painted in a bid to improve the structure’s appearance.
The future-proofing £3.2 million project is essential in order to maintain the bridge so that trains can keep running safely and reliably.
The project will be carried out in two parts in order to keep disruption to a minimum for both motorists and local residents.
Stage one will be carried out during January and late spring and will include a road closure under the Western span of the bridge.
Following this work, teams will swap their work location and this work will see the road under the Eastern span of the bridge closed until the end of the project in October 2022.
Throughout this time, the phase of the traffic lights will continue to be adjusted in order to keep road users safe whilst keeping traffic on the move.
Sarah Reid, Route Director for Network Rail’s East Coast route, said:
“This is a really important project which will make sure trains can continue to run reliably. The project will help minimise future disruption to passengers and mean people can continue to enjoy strong rail links and connections with towns and cities across the country.”
“We know this work is going to have an impact on motorists and we’re really sorry for this. We have done all that we can to reduce this impact and we’ll continue to work closely with Gateshead Council on this project.”
Traffic approaching Wellington Street bridge from the west, via Askew Road will now need to use one lane during the work, with all existing traffic movements for the junction still available.
The current bus lane on Askew Road, between Wellington Street and A167 High Street, will be in operation as normal. A lane closure on the West Central Route northbound will also be in place.