Silverlink roundabout

The transformation of Silverlink roundabout nears completion

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Two years ago, plans to transform the North Tyneside junction were revealed, with an ambitious plan to introduce a triple decker roundabout. Now construction is nearing completion on the ambitious plan and its set to transform the A19.

The existing Silverlink roundabout has long been a nightmare for drivers, often forcing them to queue even when they’re going straight on. The new scheme has introduced a new road running underneath the roundabout while the A1058 Coast Road continues to run at ground level.

Unveiling the plan, Highways England claimed it would reduce congestion, improve journey times and make the junction safer. Two years on, how does the new scheme shape up?

A19 transformation

Now over 80% complete, the transformed A19 has been lowered as the result of a £75 million scheme. Three new bridges have been constructed to carry the Coast Road and the flying roundabout, using major support beams that were imported from Ireland and lowered into place a year ago.

Meanwhile, the project has completed a major milestone with the excavation of 80,000 cubic tonnes of soil to complete work on the bypass – that’s around 32 Olympic sized swimming pools of the stuff. This is being used to form embankments for the A19 Testos junction improvement scheme.

Triple decker

The triple-decker roundabout is the first of its kind in this part of the country and includes footbridges across the A1058 for cyclists and pedestrians and an extra 247m of cycleway. Similar schemes are already in place at the A2 and A3 junctions of the M25 but this large-scale link will help provide smooth access for the Cobalt Business Park, Silverlink Retail Park, Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate and South East Northumberland.

The three-layered junction is now entering the final phases of construction and is really beginning to take shape according to the Highways England project manager Steven Cox. The scheme has used 6 graduates and apprentices as part of an initiative to promote engineering and 60% of the workforce are local.

One of the busiest road junctions in the North East, the incredible transformation has taken place while 80,000 drivers a day pass through. Improved signage and a complete resurfacing of the roundabout will complete the final phase which is expected to be completed by March next year. The improvements are part of a £15 billion investment in Britain’s A roads and motorways.

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