Lane closures in place on Tyne Bridge for five weeks ahead of restoration

Drivers are warned to allow more time for their journey and to expect delays while lane closures are in place. Credit: NCJ Media

Lane closures will be in place on the Tyne Bridge for five weeks as preparation for restoration works begins.

The A167 will be reduced to one lane in each direction on the Tyne Bridge from 09:30am until 3:30pm, Mondays to Fridays until 1 March.

Restrictions are to protect the workforce and the public as unloading of materials takes place and scaffolding rises.

With capacity halved, drivers are warned to allow more time for their journey and expect delays.

Cllr Marion Williams, cabinet member for a Connected, Clean City, said: “We appreciate this may be disruptive to drivers, but we need to push on with the work to give us a fighting chance of restoring the Tyne Bridge ahead of its centenary.

"There is huge support across the region for this refurbishment programme and we urge the government to release the funding at the earliest opportunity.” 

Lane closures, which started on Monday 29 January, followed the installation last week of alternative nesting provision for kittiwakes.

Dubbed kittiwake hotels, nesting ledges are being built onto scaffold towers which the kittiwakes can use when they return for the breeding season later this year.

This will provide compensation for any nesting sites inaccessible during the main refurbishment works.

Cllr Williams added: "We’re committed to restoring our iconic Tyne Bridge and seeing it fit for purpose into the future.

“A key constraint we need to work around is the kittiwake breeding season, as a protected species, so we’re installing the kittiwake hotels ready for when government release the long-awaited funding and get the major refurbishment programme underway."

With the Tyne Bridge being home to over 1,200 pairs of kittiwakes, the furthest inland breeding colony of kittiwakes in the world, all aspects of the refurbishment programme have been developed in consultation with wildlife groups to minimise disruption to this protected species.

In advance of the main work starting, scaffolding has already been erected around the Gateshead Tower which will allow the steelwork adjacent to the Gateshead Tower and above ‘By the River Brew’ to be fully sheeted, which will protect the environment during the works.

Scaffolding is already in place above ‘By the River Brew’ on the Gateshead side of the Tyne Bridge. Credit: Andrew Heptinstall Photography

The main restoration works to the main bridge deck has been scheduled to take place in early 2024 in anticipation of government releasing £41.4 million, for the Tyne Bridge refurbishment and upgrade to central motorway.

This was confirmed in June 2022. The ambitious four-year programme to the Tyne Bridge includes steelwork repairs, grit blasting and re-painting, concrete repairs, drainage improvements, stonework and masonry repairs, bridge deck waterproofing and resurfacing, parapet protection and bridge joint replacement.

These works will maintain the capacity of the bridge and future proof the route by alleviating the need for continual ad-hoc maintenance works.

A full programme will be set out once the funding is in place.

Local contractor Esh Construction will carry out the Tyne Bridge works on behalf of the councils.

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