A multi-million pound scheme to upgrade one of the region’s busiest road junctions is set to win support by council leaders.
The Highways Agency has put together proposals to improve the A19 and A1058 Coast Road junction at the Silverlink in North Tyneside.
The area suffers from severe congestion at peak times. Around 30,000 vehicles a day use the Coast Road and 20,000 travel on the A19 daily.
Now, a scheme is being developed to lower the A19 under the roundabout in a cutting to provide a free-flowing link.
Two bridges will be constructed to carry traffic across the lowered A19 and a replacement bridge will be built to support the Coast Road across the junction. In addition, new slip roads will be added.
It is estimated the project will cost between £116m and £167m.
In May 2012, the roads minister announced that funding would be provided to develop the scheme.
The agency has been carrying out consultations about the programme and North Tyneside Council is among the groups that have been asked for their views.
The authority says the improvements will benefit the borough and hopes to formally submit its response to the consultation after a cabinet meeting next week.
A report says: “The A19-A1058 Coast Road junction has a vital strategic position in the national road network serving the North East, both linking the A19 with the major east-west route, the A1058 Coast Road, and providing access to economically significant employment destinations in the A19 corridor.
“The scheme will help to support further jobs growth at sites in the corridor such as Cobalt Business Park, which already provides around 10,000 jobs with occupiers including Procter & Gamble, Santander, HP and Newcastle Building Society.
“The council is supportive of the proposed scheme, which would bring substantial economic benefits.”
The Highways Agency says there can be delays of more than four minutes per vehicle on the A19 southbound approach and the accident rate in the area is 50% higher than the national average.
It hopes to submit a development consent order to the planning inspectorate in October. Then, if approved by the Secretary of State for Transport, construction work could start in 2016.
Phil Jones, senior project manager, said: “With this scheme we are trying to reduce congestion, increase capacity and improve journey times. At peak times and at weekends, with people coming to the Silverlink Retail Park, there is an awful lot of traffic here.
“This project will improve journey times with the A19 traffic flowing through – drivers will not be restricted by the roundabout.”