The new Green Lane bridge in South Shields will be fully open to traffic and pedestrians as from tomorrow (Tuesday 12th August).
An inaugural ceremony on the £1.7million bridge was carried out at the beginning of July, but the full opening of the bridge was put back to allow final completion of safety barriers, fencing and landscaping.
The Green Lane Bridge is an important local road between the Simonside, Biddick Hall and West Harton areas. It is also a major cross-town bus route. Services have been disrupted since a weight restriction was imposed in June 2000.
The opening of the new bridge is great news, especially for local residents and businesses that have been very patient during the weight restriction and closure period to allow for demolition and construction. The site itself has been problematic with delays due to unforeseen ground conditions and service diversions.
The new bridge means the full restoration of bus services which have been disrupted and the re-aligned design makes it a much safer route for traffic and pedestrians.
South Tyneside Council secured funding totalling £1.7m to build a brand new re-aligned bridge. This includes a £200,000 contribution from Railtrack owners of the old bridge.
It was decided to build a new bridge after the three-tonne weight restriction was introduced following a structural assessment. The bridge was closed to all traffic in March.
The new bridge is of a modern design and construction and is more suitable for modern traffic requirements. There has been excellent co-operation with Railtrack and neighbouring local authorities to sort out funding from the Local Transport Plan.
The roadwork element of the works includes 320 metres of re-aligned or new carriageway with flexible surfacing together with associated drainage, safety fencing and street lighting.
The work involved includes 76 concrete bored piles (over 16 metres into the ground), 13,000 cubic metres of earthworks fill, 800 cubic metres of concrete, 10 pre-cast beams weighing up to a maximum of 43 tonne each, 20 number pre-cast parapet units and 150 tonne of steel reinforcement.
Amanda Skelton, Executive Director Neighbourhood Services, said: "All the works on the bridge are now fully completed and local residents and business who have been very patient during the closure period can now enjoy the benefits of a much improved road link. There were some unforeseen delays, but the end result is a brand new bridge more suited to modern requirements."